New Yorks’ Indian casinos gearing up for looming competition

i-love-new-yorkNew York is about to take bids for non-Indian casinos in the state, so naturally, the existing Indian casinos in the state are gearing up for the competition.

Both the Seneca Indian Nation and the Oneida Nation have announced expansion plans ahead of the arrival of these multi-million resort and casinos, a smart move considering that the these new casinos will likely see increased competition in the coming years.

The Senecas, for one, announced that it had bought 32 acres of land last week for what could potentially be a fourth casino to join its three existing ones in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and Salamanca. It still needs to get state and federal approval for a fourth casino but at least its preparing and getting its finances – and land – in order when the time comes it gets it.

Not one to be outdone, the Oneida Nation soon followed with its own announcement, unveiling a $15 million investment it had made to install new cash slot machines at its Turning Stone casino in Verona to replace the current prepay terminals that are probably dated themselves given the joint is already 20 years old.

Both tribes could find themselves in competition if Rochester-based casino developer Wilmorite throws its hat into the mix among those vying for the first four casino licenses New York is set to offer soon. All told, seven non-Indian casinos were approved by voters last year, to expand gambling in New York in an effort to create more jobs and generate more revenues for the state. So its no surprise that the Indian casinos are preparing for the impending arrival of the competition. The Cayuga Indian Nation, the other tribe that had exclusive gambling rights before the state made a constitutional amendment last year, hasn’t announced what it plans to do but don’t be surprised if it announces its own expansion plans soon. This was one of the expected repercussions when New York begins the process of accepting bids for these new casino licenses, essentially raising stakes that these Indian casinos are more than willing to join in on.