Oneida Nation delays debut of casino with 'Wizard of Oz' theme

Artist's rendering of the Yellow Brick Road Casino in Chittenango, New York. Image from Oneida Nation

The Oneida Nation of New York has delayed the opening of a new Class II gaming facility that has a controversial theme.

Initially, the tribe said the Yellow Brick Road Casino was going to open in the spring. But a press release regarding a different gaming location now says the facility will debut "later this year."

The exact date wasn't stated. But a tribal spokesperson told The Oneida Dispatch that an announcement will be made before the end of this month.

The casino is based on a Wonderful Wizard of Oz theme. It's located in Chittenango, the birthplace of author L. Frank Baum, who called for the "extirmination" of Indian people just days after the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee.

Lakota descendants have questioned the use of the theme but the tribe has defended it. Representative Ray Halbritter said the author's family has apologized for the racist statements.

“I think that’s a wonderful message — that we’re able to overcome by repentance and by forgiveness,” Halbritter told The Washington Post in a February story. “It’s looking forward rather than backward.”

Get the Story:
Nation opens 2nd SavOn slot parlor; no date yet on Chittenango casino (The Oneida Dispatch 4/14)
Verona SavOn store adds slot machines (AP 4/13)
Oneida Nation to offer slot machines at second CNY gas station (The Syracuse Post-Standard 4/12)

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