NY anti-casino activists change tack
By Paul
New York State Governor George Pataki has signed a compact with the Seneca Nation of Indians allowing casino gambling in Buffalo and Niagara Falls, but an attorney representing local anti-gambling activists is using the stateís Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) to get documentation about the civil law at the proposed casinos.

Attorney Cornelius D. Murray represents Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce President Joseph Dalton; the Rev. Jay Ekman, pastor of the Presbyterian-New England Congregational Church in Saratoga Springs and others in a lawsuit aimed at blocking more Indian casinos, video lottery terminals at the Saratoga Equine Sports Center, and the state's participation in multi-state lotteries.

According to Murray, the compact doesnít contain provisions guaranteeing the rights of organized labor at the casinos. He is also interested in obtaining documentation about civil law at the casinos, and about the amount of liability insurance casinos must carry. 'I'm not sure the documents exist,' Murray said. 'But a compact can't be enforced without them.' Patakiís office has not yet commented on the issue.

Murray said state Supreme Court Justice Joseph Teresi, who sits in Albany County, is considering Pataki's request to drop the suit. Murray said he won't ask Teresi for a court order blocking any state action until after the judge rules on that motion.

'It could be any day now,' Murray said.

Teresi declined Murray's request for an injunction blocking the multi-state lottery in spring this year.

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