Albany (WSYR-TV) – The Oneida Nation will get exclusive gaming rights in Central New York and pay the state an estimated $50 million a year under an agreement announced Thursday.
The agreement between New York State, the Oneida Indian Nation, along with Madison and Oneida counties will keep any new casinos from being built in the 10 counties of Central New York.
The Oneida Nation, which runs the Turning Stone Resort and Casino, will pay the state 25 percent of its net revenue from slots. It’s projected to total $50 million annually.
New York State will give 25 percent of the money it receives from the Oneida Nation to Oneida County, where Turning Stone is located, which is projected to total $12.5 million annually.
The agreement includes a one-time $11 million payment to Madison County.
Yearly, New York State will also pay Oneida County $2.5 million and Madison County $3.5 million from the state share of the revenue from this agreement.
As part of the deal, Madison and Oneida counties agree to drop their legal challenges over land claims against the Oneida Nation.
The Oneida Indian Nation agrees to cap its land trust at 25,000 acres.
The Oneidas also agree to charge taxes on cigarettes and gasoline, but the nation will get to keep that money.
Any disputes related to the agreement can be heard in federal court, because the Oneida Nation has agreed to wave its sovereign immunity.
If a separate referendum allowing an expansion of private gaming in New York is approved by the State Senate and Assembly and voters, the other eight counties in Central New York would share 10 percent of the state’s share of money from the Oneidas.
Before the agreement announced Thursday can take effect, it must be approved by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Madison and Oneida counties, and the State Legislature.