New York state’s casino location board’s selection of the Lago Casino & Resort project is criticized in the latest TV ad from the Oneida Indian Nation, saying the planned casino “undermines” what Governor Andrew Cuomo envisioned for gaming and expanded job growth in upstate New York.
The TV ad is just the latest addition to the extensive media campaign the Oneida Indian Nation launched over the last month. The tribe operates the Turning Stone Casino in central New York, and has recently increased its efforts to persuade the state Gaming Commission to reject the project’s proposal for a Class III gaming facility. The latest TV ad states, “By selecting Lago Casino, the location board undermined Governor Cuomo’s jobs agenda, killing thousands in one community just to move them a few exists up the Thruway;” “That’s not how we revitalize upstate New York.”
Oneida spokesman Michael McKeon issued a statement tying the casino expansion and resulting loss of jobs to the planned shutdown of Oswego’s FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant, which is scheduled to shut its doors in 2017. The statement by McKeon states that if the Gaming Commission accepts Lago, it must also accept its role in causing substantial job loss due to the cannibalization of jobs from other nearby gaming facilities. McKeon added that, “The State Gaming Commission can and should create new jobs at Tioga Downs and in Schenectady and Sullivan Counties. But the commission must say no to Lago,” according to The State of Politics.
Lago’s developers countered by stating that the campaign by the Oneida’s is meant to safeguard its profits from Turning Stone, which teeters on the edge of the tribe’s exclusivity zone, negotiated by the Cuomo administration before approval of the casino measure. The Lago casino lies outside of that zone in Seneca County. Lago spokesman, Steve Greenberg, said “At least they’re consistent,” adding, “They continue to lie to protect their monopoly.” Earlier in the week Greenberg provided a video which apparently shows a resident of Tyre answering questions regarding the project from someone who claims to work for “Mid-America Research,” an apparently non-existent company.
The considerable public relations efforts by the Oneida Indian Nation were amplified in October, via a comprehensive education campaign, just after the Lago project got the nod from Finger Lakes town officials. This week a second ad was released by the tribe, which was then countered by an ad released by Lago.