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A state judge has ruled against a group of residents challenging the environmental approval for a casino under construction in the Finger Lakes

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TYRE, New York — A state judge rejected a challenge to the environmental approval for a casino under construction in the Finger Lakes.

Judge Patrick Falvey rejected arguments that officials in Tyre failed to adequately consider how the Lago Resort and Casino would affect the surrounding community under state environmental review law. A local group called Casino Free Tyre claims the town board did the bidding of casino developers by failing to scrutinize the effects of the large development.

But Falvey said in a ruling released Monday the opponents failed to show any actions by town officials that would call for setting aside the local decision.

Lago was one of three upstate New York casinos to receive a license from the state in December. The other casinos are in the Catskills and Schenectady.

Opponents said they would appeal the ruling. Lago developers said Monday they were pleased with the decision.

"We are excited that the pace of construction is increasing, as every day brings us closer to the opening of upstate New York's newest and best resort and casino," Lago Resort & Casino Co-Chairmen Thomas C. Wilmot, Sr. said in a prepared statement.

The casino is expected to open next year.

Earlier this year in a separate lawsuit, the Oneida Indians asked a state court to throw out Lago's license, claiming the selection process was riddled with legal errors. The Oneidas operate a casino about 65 miles to the east.

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