Seneca County officials ‘outraged’ at Oneidas’ lawsuit against Lago Resort & Casino
Posted on June 22nd, 2016
The Seneca County Board of Supervisors’ leadership team slammed a new lawsuit filed by the Oneida Indian Nation that attempts to block construction of Lago Resort & Casino in Tyre.
Chairman Gary Westfall, Majority Leader Robert Shipley and Minority Leader Cindy Garlick Lorenzetti issued a joint statement Tuesday night saying the latest legal challenge is “against the people and best interests of Seneca County.”
“Our county has never received one cent from any casino or gaming facility,” the leaders said. “We are outside the 10-county exclusivity zone that was created for the Oneidas. So they don’t have to provide us with any revenue, as they do those 10 counties in their exclusivity zone. And now they want to prevent Seneca County from receiving any revenue from Lago Resort & Casino.”
They added, “It’s time for the Oneidas to stop the nonsense and end these frivolous lawsuits.”
The new lawsuit claims the process used by the state Gaming Commission to select Lago was illegal. The Oneidas want the selection nullified, which would strip Lago of its casino license.
The Oneidas oppose the project because they fear it would cannibalize existing casino revenues. The tribe operates two casinos in upstate New York — Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona and Yellow Brick Road Casino in Chittenango.
“This lawsuit is simple: we are asking the court to force the Gaming Commission to enforce and respect the law that is responsible for upholding,” the nation said in a statement.
Joining the Oneidas as petitioners are Tyre residents who oppose Lago’s construction. Casino Free Tyre says the casino would affect the environment and the town’s rural character.
The trio of Seneca County leaders repeated their calls for the creation of an upstate gaming coalition that would work to promote the region’s casinos. Despite the new lawsuit, they’re hopeful that they can work together with the tribe.
“We once again ask the Oneidas to join us in that effort,” they said.