The Oneida Indian Nation recently announced that they will be opening a third casino near Syracuse. In a statement made earlier this week, the Oneida Nation detailed their $50 million casino plan, which includes a 65,000 square foot gambling venue including. The casino is set to begin construction next month and has scheduled its opening for the spring of 2018.
The casino will be joining 10 other casinos between the cities of Batavia and Albany and is stepping into an already crowded gambling market. The proposed Point Place Casino is set to open next year in Bridgeport, just under 50 miles from the del Lago Resort and Casino in the Finger Lakes region. In recent years, three other Las Vega-style casino projects have begun in the region and it appears that Point Place Casino follow suit.
Plans for Point Place Casino
In a recent press release, the Oneida Nation said the proposed facility will have 500 slot machines and 20 table games in a smoke-free setting. The casino will also include two fast-service restaurants and alcohol will be served to customers. Point Place Casino will be smaller than the Oneida’s Turning Stone Resort casino, which has nearly four times the number of slot machines and table games and operates in Verona, New York.
Point Place Casino will be located in the small town of Bridgeport; an attractive destination for a casino due to the fact that it borders the Oneida Lake. The Finger Lakes are an exceptionally popular tourist destination, especially in the spring, which is when the casino is set to open. In addition to the views, the casino is just 15-miles from Syracuse, which happens to be the fifth most populated city in the state of New York. With a location like this the Oneida Nation hopes to draw customers both locally and out of state. Due to the fact that the Oneida Nation is building on its own sovereign land, there is no approval from the state or federal government needed for construction to begin.
Stiff Competition in Upstate New York
With such a large influx of new casinos, many businesses fear that the gambling market in upstate New York has suffered. “I think that part of the state is becoming overly saturated with gambling facilities,” said Assembly Racing Committee Chairman Gary Pretlow in one interview. This comes after a number of existing racetracks with video-lottery terminals in upstate New York have pleaded with law makers for a lower tax rate.
Despite tensions over a highly competitive gaming climate, Ray Halbritter, Oneida Nation Representative and Nation Enterprises chief executive officer, said this new investment “will continue the success we have had in working hand-in hand with the local community to create good jobs and generate public revenues.” According to the tribe’s business projections, the state could see additional revenue for the city of Albany. In 2016, the Oneida Nation provided the state with over $60 million in tax revenue. The Oneida Nation projects to provide the state, in addition to generating public revenues, the project will bring in a few hundred construction and permanent jobs for residents.