By Frank Parlato Jr.
Theyre going great guns.
Astonished, the locals ask, How do
they do it, these Seneca gods?
Without taxes, thats
The Casino and their complex, and the infrastructure
leading to it, were paid for, directly or indirectly, by tax-paying
Americans -- while Seneca pays none. With 50 acres, and the ability
to open any business, the Casino is merely the tip of the iceberg.
The Casino? dumbfounded, the
locals ask. I thought that was all they got.
It displaced a convention center where out
of town people convened, then went to hotels and restaurants. It
became a foreign casino, but tourists hardly come. The gamblers
by Seneca design - are mainly middle and low-income locals.
Ironic: The Convention Center made money for locals from out of
town people; the Foreign Casino (which displaced it) made money
for out of town people (Seneca and Albany) from locals.
Heres their formula: Win from a large
number of petty gamblers, $50 -100 at a clip; its called the
grind. More lucrative and easier than attracting the big-time
gold-tooth gamblers as are believed to be flocking
to Las Vegas, the grind attracts the tinsel puff version:
Shabbily dressed, unglamorously inelegant, grotesquely unlearned,
often unshaved, sometimes unwashed, always sans suit and tie
these, who know nothing of the laws of probability. You can scan
the whole place and not find anyone smiling, four million a year
-- on average $85 poorer.
A gold-tooth player loses a million and smiles.
A bumpkin loses $50 and blames the gods, and curses his girlfriend.
But thats who they got at Seneca-Niagara: Mr. Shabby. Nine
times out of ten, hes local born and bred.
In three years, $900 million of locals
monies lost, the ice skating rink, the convention center, seven
restaurants, six taverns -- closed. Two hotels foreclosed. Population
dropped. Crime rising. Bankruptcy rising. Locals are pouring their
entertainment money into slots, not spending it at cinemas or sporting
events, local taverns or restaurants. Sometimes, if they spend too
much it comes out of groceries or rent.
However, Seneca, like Oliver Twist, wanted
more: It opened a buffet, a pub, a high- end steak house,
an Italian restaurant, an Asian restaurant, a glamour spa, a conference
center, a bistro, a coffee shop, a nightclub, a 26 story, 604 room
hotel, and gift shops galore.
While Americans pay sales tax, income tax
and property tax, Seneca pays nothing while selling sweat shirts,
baseball caps, T-shirts, sweaters, jackets, golf wear, costume jewelry,
plush toys, jewelry, blankets, sculptures, TVs, high-end electronics,
DVDs, golf clubs, cameras, diamonds and more.
If people drive miles to rural reservations
to save a few dollars on cigarettes and gasoline, imagine how far
theyll drive when Seneca has as many stores as the Galleria
Mall. A smoke shop, a gas station, a car dealership next? On a $20,000
car, $1,600 saved in sales tax.
How will the Galleria Mall compete when they
pay three million a year in property taxes and upwards of $20 million
in sales tax? Or the Sheraton Millennium which accommodates
overnight Galleria shoppers and pays another two million.
But Seneca has its own hotel, so if tourists come, they can stay
at the Seneca hotel bed-tax free.
How did we let them take over the town?
Albany, is the answer.
But can we fight back? The locals
ask. We havent the pluck.
We could burn tires and blockade roads. We
could charge tolls into Seneca, or sue Albany on the faultiness
of a compact that left locals on an insurmountably uneven playing
field. If opposition were vigorous, Seneca might opt to pay taxes
on their retail operations in order to keep the monopoly on their
But the stumbling block is not the law: Its
the politically-correct apologists who claim we owe Seneca because
theyre our victims.
Bewildered, Americans ask, Why does
a person, because of his race and tribe - have an advantage
over other Americans?
The politically-correct answer is because
of what Columbus and Custer did. And how the white man savaged the
The apologists secretly smile for Seneca.
They publish erudite tomes on reparations. Sometimes, the liberal
press joins in with the pejorative assumption that anyone who doesnt
agree is a bigot. The apologists, referring to people long-dead
with similar skin hues, say we savaged the red
Was it my ancestors? Wait -- they were in
Italy at the time.
Logically, the whole argument falls to pieces
unless, of course, theyre referring to reincarnation.
"We people in Niagara Falls really cheated
the Indians in 1794, I can imagine a person saying, perhaps
remembering his past life. It's about time we did something
to make it up to them."
But, as one politically-incorrect American
said, I cant work up enough guilt, since I wasnt
around in 1794.
The whole argument that someone living in
the 21st century owes someone else for what someone did to someone
else in the 18th century is logically a fraud.
For those strong enough to understand it:
its time to demand equality with Seneca now!