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Construction begins for Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino

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August 01, 2012

The echo of construction activity sent an unmistakable message through the Inner Harbor area of downtown Buffalo this morning - the new Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino is coming.

Officials from Seneca Gaming Corporation and the Seneca Nation of Indians celebrated the start of work on the $130 million project and revealed further details of what visitors can expect when the casino opens next year.

"We believe the new Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino will add to the overall energy and excitement taking shape in the Inner Harbor area," said Robert Mele, Chairman, Seneca Gaming Corporation. "Thanks to the efforts of many of our neighbors and our colleagues in the development community, people are rediscovering this section of downtown as one of the jewels of the Queen City. We are excited to redefine our presence in the area with our new casino property."

In addition to the 800 slots and 16 table games that will be a part of the new Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino, visitors will also be able to enjoy many of the local flavors for which Buffalo is famous. The menu of the American-style restaurant that will be located in the casino will feature such signature items as chicken wings from the Anchor Bar, Sahlen's hot dogs, beef on weck from Charlie the Butcher and other local favorites made possible through partnerships with local restaurants. Many of the partner restaurateurs were on hand for this morning's announcement.

"This continues the evolution of the spirit of partnership we have been with this project and in this neighborhood," said Seneca Nation President Robert Odawi Porter. "It's more than just items on a restaurant menu. It's everyone coming together to help reinvigorate a neighborhood and a city that is our home and helping to create a destination atmosphere in the Inner Harbor, which, in turn, will help bolster our economy through tourism, investment and job creation."

Earlier this year, the Nation and Seneca Gaming Corporation, through the Seneca Buffalo Creek Development Advisory Committee, awarded $1 million to support a host of community development, beautification, lighting, infrastructure and other improvement projects in the neighborhood surrounding the Buffalo Creek Territory. A total of 17 organizations, businesses and community groups received funding.

Now, Seneca Gaming Corporation is once again turning its attention to development on the Seneca Nation's 9-acre territory.

Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino opened in 2007 and has undergone two subsequent expansions, in 2008 and 2010. Today, the casino features 457 slot machines. The new casino, which is being designed by The Hnedak Bobo Group, a nationally-recognized leader in casino design, will nearly double the number of slot machines, add table games and the restaurant, as well as an attached parking garage, and will replace the existing casino.

Construction is scheduled to last approximately 15 months. In all, the project is expected to impact a total of 600 construction period jobs, including 300 direct construction jobs and additional jobs related to the production of materials and other services related to the project. Furthermore, the larger casino will mean additional business opportunities for local companies and more employment opportunities with one of the region's largest private employers.

"We are very proud of our record of economic impact over the past decade" said Cathy Walker, President and CEO, Seneca Gaming Corporation. "Our more than 3,700 employees and more than $100 million in annual spending with local companies are part of the foundation of success on which we hope to build as a result of our continued growth."

In addition to the Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino project, Seneca Gaming Corporation is also in the construction phase of a new hotel tower project at Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel, which is expected to open this fall, and the company is planning to renovate both the Chairman's Lounge and Thunder Falls Buffet areas at Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel later this year.

Since 2002, the Seneca Nation and Seneca Gaming Corporation have invested over $1 billion to develop the Nation's three casino properties and the Seneca Hickory Stick Golf Course in Lewiston. Today, the company operates world-class facilities offering more than 6,500 slot machines, 140 table games, 800 hotel rooms, a championship golf course and other related amenities.

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