Bridgeport casino won’t affect Utica’s project

Oneida Nation will pursue both utica and bridgeport casinos.

The Oneida Indian Nation currently operates two casinos in the state of New York.

The Oneida Indian Nation recently announced its intentions on building a casino in Bridgeport but will still pursue a downtown Utica casino.

US.- The Oneida Indian Nation declared its plans to construct a small casino in Bridgeport, the largest city in the Madison County. The third casino would be opened in the state of New York in 2018 and wouldn’t impact the intentions to open an Utica casino.

Oneida Nation spokesman Joel Barkin said in a statement that both ventures can be engaged simultaneously: “The Bridgeport project does not impact the potential partnership with Oneida County around a downtown Utica casino at all.”

“The Bridgeport casino is far enough away so I don’t think it has an impact on Utica,” County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. said. Picente’s intentions are attracting gamblers to eastern Oneida, so the Utica casino could be a way to draw residents from the western Adirondack Mountains.

He also wants the county to mantain a strong presence in the emergent New York casino industry and a partnership with the Oneidas might just be the way. The tribe is committed to expanding its gaming business and is favored by a 2013 agreement with the state, nation and both Oneida and Madison counties that settles longstanding tax and trust land issues.

The Bridgeport venue will be built on route 31, will be about 65 thousand square feet and its projected to feature about 500 slot machines and 20 table games. It will also offer two fast service restaurants and two bars.