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 confirmed 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, first reported by the Syracuse Post-Standard ( http://bit.ly/1wSda3w ), call for renovating a vacant building in a shopping plaza.
The Oneidas announced 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. 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.