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Indians plan new Oz-themed N.Y. casino

CHITTENANGO, N.Y. — The Oneida Indian Nation plans to open a $20 million casino with a ''Wizard of Oz'' theme in the village where author L. Frank Baum was born, the Oneidas said Sunday.

Ray Halbritter, chief executive officer of the Oneida Nation, said in a news release that the 67,000-square-foot casino will open in the spring in Chittenango, 14 miles east of Syracuse. The plans call for renovating a vacant building in a shopping plaza.

The Oneidas revealed plans for the Yellow Brick Road Casino four days after a state panel recommended licensing three non-Indian casinos, including a $425 million casino and hotel 42 miles west of Syracuse in Seneca County.


The state's Gaming Facility Location Review Board said Wednesday it had picked the Montreign Resort Casino in the Catskills town of Thompson, in Sullivan County; the Rivers Casino & Resort at Mohawk Harbor in Schenectady; and Lago Resort & Casino in the Finger Lakes town of Tyre in Seneca County.

The facilities are projected to support more than 3,200 full-time jobs and generate $265 million in taxes, along with $136 million in licensing fees.

Halbritter said because the Chittenango casino will be on Oneida reservation land, no permission is needed from federal, state, or local governments under terms of a 1993 gaming compact with the state.

Associated Press