Seneca Gaming Corporation is poised to start the expansion of their Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino that will see the number of slot machines of the casino double. Jeffrey Gill, Seneca Gaming’s chairman, said that construction on the $8 million casino project that will bring another two hundred slot machines to the 244 slot machine, nine thousand square foot South Park Avenue complex is expected to begin before Halloween.
The expansion should be finished by early spring. Seneca Gaming is the casino operations division of the Seneca Nations of Indians. Gill made the announcement on October 1st, 2009 as he introduced five new members to the board of directors of Seneca Gaming. But the expansion does not mean that construction on the planned $333 million Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino and hotel facility is about to be re-started.
Work on the casino project has been postponed since August 2008 because of the financial crisis. The facility is also subject of a federal lawsuit filed by local anti-casino groups that has yet to be resolved. The economy will determine when several of Seneca Gaming’s projects will move forward.
Last year, Seneca Gaming also postponed plans to add a new hotel to the Seneca Allegany Casino and Hotel. Expansion plans for the Seneca Niagara Casino and Hotel are also in holding pattern because of the current economic condition.
Gill, who is a retired sergeant with the Erie County Sheriff’s Department, was elected Seneca Gaming chairman on September 11th, 2009. He is part of a new group of board members that will manage the corporation. Other new members include Robert Mele, Richard K. Nephew, Ina Locke, Karen Karsten and Mark Halftown.
All new members were introduced on Thursday, even though they were elected in their new position at the September 11th, 2009 meeting. Gill said that he also expects that the Seneca Hickory Creek Golf course will welcome its first players next spring, although the golf course would not be fully operational until next fall.
A wet summer and fall weather this year slowed things on the layout. Gill also stated that he expects to solve frayed relations that have developed between the Seneca Gaming Corporation and the Seneca Nation of Indians over a variety of personnel and legal issues. He added that he wants to re-open lines of communication that have been closed or limited in the past months.