The Oneida Nation owns and operates the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, New York. Photo: O World of Photos

Former Indian Country editor blames demise on non-Indian gaming operations

In a report on Voice of America, a former editor at Indian Country Today Media Network is offering details on the demise of the operation.

The Oneida Nation shut down the outlet earlier this month, saying it wasn't financially viable. That's because non-Indian gaming are threatening the tribe's revenues, former opinions editor Ray Cook told VOA.

“The state of New York recently handed out several gaming licenses, and now these non-tribal entities are trying to creep into the casino market,” Cook, who is a citizen of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, told VOA reporter Cecily Hilleary. “So, the Oneida had to readjust its revenue projections. And reluctantly, with tears in their eyes, they put us on hiatus.”

The Oneidas have indeed face increased competition for gaming dollars in the state. According to The Rome Sentinel, the tribe took in fewer revenues in the first quarter of 2017 -- a period that coincides with the opening of three non-Indian facilities.

Indianz.Com on Google Maps: Gaming Facilities in Oneida Nation Territory

Ironically, some of those facilities aren't doing so well, The New York Times reported. Based on data from the New York State Gaming Commission, the Del Lago Resort and Casino is falling significantly short of the revenues that had been projected in its first year of operation.

The tribe was unsuccessful in efforts to stop the opening of Del Lago in February. The tribe objected because the facility is located on the edge of the zone of exclusivity promised by the state.

The tribe operates the Turning Stone Resort Casino, its flagship property, and the Yellow Brick Road Casino. A third facility, the Point Place Casino, is due to open in the spring of 2018.

Read More on the Story:
Native American Journalists Debate Future of Media in Indian Country (Voice of America September 20, 2017)
New York’s Bet on New Casinos Has Yet to Hit Jackpot (The New York Times September 19, 2017)

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