Oneida Indian Nation to build $20 million central New York casino with 'Wizard of Oz' theme

IndustriesAssociated Press

The Oneida Indian Nation has announced plans to open a $20 million casino with a "Wizard of Oz" theme in the village where Oz author L. Frank Baum was born.

Ray Halbritter, chief executive officer of the Oneida Nation, tells the Syracuse Post-Standard ( ) the casino will open in the spring in Chittenango, 14 miles east of Syracuse.

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The Oneidas announced plans for the Yellow Brick Road Casino four days after a state panel recommended licensing three non-Indian casinos, including one 42 miles west of Syracuse.

Halbritter said because the Chittenango casino is on Oneida reservation land, no permission is needed from federal, state or local governments.

A 2013 state gaming compact gave the Oneidas exclusive rights to gaming activity in a 10-county area surrounding its Turning Stone Casino in Verona.