Oneida Indian Nation releases "Responsible Gaming Pledge"

Aug 27, 2012

The Oneida Indian Nation, the owner and operater of the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona New York, has released a "Responsible Gaming Pledge" outlining a commitment to reinvest gaming revenues in "the long-term prosperity of the region and state".

The statement comes closely behind a decision last week in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals related to a  foreclosure case running between the Oneida Indian Nation and Madison and Oneida Counties.

In today's statement, Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter says that the renewed commitment is "made with the belief that New York State and its leaders will support our growth and development, rather than advance policies that would undermine existing economic development."

Earlier this year, Governor Andrew Cuomo supported legislation to amend the state constitution, allowing for the possible development of no more than seven new casinos in New York state. 

Mr. Halbritter has previously said that he had concerns about the potential impact of other casinos on the Turning Stone operation.

Turning Stone Resort and Casino was opened in July 1993 following The Indian Regulatory and Gaming Act of 1988 which set the conditions for operating casinos on tribal land. 

This report from Colgate University researcher Christopher J. Brown quoted independent estimates that  revenes from Oneida Indian Nation gambling operations alone was $152 million for the year 2002. The Oneida Indian Nation does not release income figures.

Today's statement also refers to the need for the operation to provide well paid jobs with adequate healthcare and pension provisions, (the Resort employs between 4,000-5,000 people), and outlines a commitment to "reinvest the majority of gaming revenue back into the local community".

The Turning Stone Resort and Casino made the Oneida Nation the fastest growing employer in the three-county region of Onondaga, Oneida, and Madison counties in 2004. 

According to previous reporting, some neighboring businesses have been unhappy about competing against the services of the Resort and Casino because of the separate tax regimes in place for businesses operating on tribal lands.