New York Casino Near Syracuse Announced by Oneida Indian Nation to Compete With Del Lago

Posted on: April 3, 2017, 03:00h. 

Last updated on: April 3, 2017, 11:25h.

An upstate New York casino is set to be developed by the Oneida Indian Nation near Syracuse, as the tribe announced this week it will spend up to $50 million on building a 65,000 square foot gambling venue that will employ 200 people on a permanent basis.

New York casino Oneida Nation
Oneida Nation tribal leader Ray Halbritter, seen here in 2013 signing his people’s historic gaming compact with the state and Governor Andrew Cuomo, has announced a third New York casino. (Image: Mike Groll/Associated Press)

Named the Point Place Casino, the resort will be located in Bridgeport, a small town that borders Oneida Lake. The casino will be just a short 15-mile drive from Syracuse, the fifth most populated city in the Empire State with roughly 150,000 residents.

In a press release, the Oneida Nation says the facility will have 500 slot machines and 20 table games, as well as two fast-service casual restaurants. The floor will be smoke-free, and alcohol will be served. There are no plans to build a hotel.

The Native American group is building Point Place on its own sovereign land, so no approval from the state or federal government is required for construction to commence.

The Oneida Nation says construction will begin next month, and the casino is scheduled to open in the spring of 2018.

Three’s Company

The Oneida Nation is tripling down on its New York casino businesses, as the tribe already has two gambling facilities upstate.

Its marquee venue is Turning Stone. The Verona resort is just some 22 miles from where Point Place will be built. Oneida Nation also owns and operates the Yellow Brick Road Casino in Chittenango, just 11 miles south of Bridgeport.

Oneida Nation spokesman Joel Barkin told The Post-Standard in Syracuse that each property features a unique customer experience. “Point Place will complement the overall model we’ve created. We are confident the region can support each of these businesses.”

The state hopes the tribe’s business projections are accurate, as that would mean additional revenue for Albany. In 2016, the Oneida Nation delivered almost $62 million in tax revenue to the state’s coffers.

Competition Arising

Oneida Lake is northeast of the famed Finger Lakes, a popular tourist destination during the warmer months. With an abundance of wineries and resorts, the region is flooded with travelers in the summer, but the expanse is also seeing perhaps its fair share of gambling enterprises.

Some believe Central New York is becoming oversaturated with casinos. Gambling companies are betting it’s not.

Since 2004, the Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack has housed slots and video gaming machines, but a Las Vegas-style full-fledged casino resort opened in February.

Forty-three miles west of Syracuse, the new $440 million del Lago Resort & Casino in Seneca County became the first commercial casino to open in New York under the expanded gaming law. Rivers Casino in Schenectady followed six days later just outside of Albany.

The Finger Lakes resort generated $36 million in gross revenue during its first six days in operation. The Oneida Nation’s Bridgeport announcement is its response to the commercial casino destination’s likely impact on Turning Stone and Yellow Brick Road.

Point Place is the tribe’s most northwestern land, and puts a tribal casino close to Interstate 81.