(Posted 2/27/07) The Taylor Policy Group, which writes promotional material for the gambling industry, released a "study" last week claiming that the Seneca casino operations have benefitted the Western New York economy. The Taylor report says that Seneca cigarette and gambling operations together had a $588 million impact on WNY GDP for 2005.
George M. Palumbo, chairman of the economic and finance department at Canisius College, refuted this claim. In regard to gambling revenue, he pointed out that true economic impact would be money coming from outside the area. Palumbo noted that 86 percent of Seneca Niagara's gambling revenue comes from Western New York.
The Taylor report, paid for by the Seneca Nation, is part of an ongoing public disinformation campaign waged by gambling interests. In 2005 , the Seneca Nation produced a report with similar specious claims. That report stated that Seneca casinos generated $100 million in revenue to New York State, and $72 million in payroll during 2004. Omitted was the fact that at the same time over $300 million in gambling losses came out of the pockets of local residents.
In 2006, the Seneca Gambling Corporation commissioned a push-poll to produce a biased survey outcome on public attitudes toward a casino.
It is not surprising that a recent audit by the State Comptroller has raised serious questions about the Seneca Gambling Corporation's business-reporting practices.
Politicians and political hacks often become entwined in the propaganda game. In 2005, Charles Gargano, chairman of Empire State Development (and a casino promoter with a shady past), commissioned a "study" of the Seneca Niagara Casino's impact on the City of Niagara Falls. The research work was done "in partnership with Gaming & Resort and Development Inc." --- a propaganda arm of the gambling industry.
"Experts" can also be found and bought by casino interests. In 2005, Harvard University cast aside objectivity to carry out industry-funded "research" that delivered pro-casino results.
The abuse of information media by misrepresentation and pseudo-research was explored here in an article entitled "Propaganda Masquerading as News".
The casino interests can pay to plant distortions in the news. Fortunately, to tell the real casino story, we have a wealth of public testimony, as well as the scientific findings of professionals like Dr. John Kindt, of Illinois, Dr. Earl Grinols, of Texas, and Tom Grey, Former Director of the National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling. These people do not reap any monetary reward for their efforts.