On Friday, the Oneida Nation’s legal challenge to the $425 million Tyre, Seneca County project currently under construction that will be in competition with the tribe’s other two casinos in New York State was dismissed.
Supreme Court Justice Vincent Reilly ruled that the lawsuit by the tribe that claims lawful procedures were violated by the state Gaming Commission when they granted a license to the Finger Lakes casino lacked standing. The ruling by the New York high court comes on the same day a ruling by a lower court was upheld by a state appeals court in a separate case against local opponents of the casino.
The del Lago Resort & Casino was one of three casinos granted licenses by the gaming commission in December along with the Montreign Resort Casino at Adelaar and Rivers Casino & Resort at Mohawk Harbor in Schenectady after being chosen by the state’s special location board. Since the December approval, de Lago has been plagued by lawsuits and opponents including, Casino Free Tyre, and the Oneida Indian Nation’s Turning Stone and Yellow Brick Road casinos, and Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack (FLGR). Opponents disapprove of a new gaming destination that, according to them, will cannibalize their businesses, harm local economies and create significant environmental impacts. De Lago would be located on the edge of the Oneida’s exclusivity zone, an issue that is raised in the lawsuit.
The claim by the tribe that the financial damage they would incur due to del Lago, which is located just 65 miles west of the Oneida’s Turning Stone casino, gave them standing was dismissed by the judge who ruled that the unknown costs the tribe may incur in the future are not sufficient to meet the legal burden.
In a statement prepared by the Oneida Tribe, they said “All along, we simply asked that the will of voters be respected,” according to the Associated Press. While del Lago spokesman Steven Greenberg said, “We said all along that del Lago followed the law and the rules, and the Town of Tyre followed the law and the rules.”
The del Lago casino will include 2,000 slot machines, 85 gaming tables, and a 207-room hotel, and spa. The resort and casino is expected to employ 1,250 to 1,500 workers and is on pace to open in February 2017.