VERONA, NY (AP) - The 25th anniversary of the opening of the Oneida Indian Nation's first casino in Central New York is being celebrated.
Local officials and employees of Turning Stone Resort Casino gathered Tuesday to commemorate the casino's opening on July 21, 1993.
The casino was built on Oneida Nation land just off Exit 33 of the Thruway in Verona, 20 miles west of Utica. The initial $10 million facility was financed from the tribe's bingo and cigarette profits.
Today, the business has grown to include more than 1,700 slot machines, five golf courses, four hotels, several restaurants and a concert venue. Employment has grown from about 1,000 in 1993 to nearly 5,000 today.
In recent years the Oneida have opened smaller casinos in nearby Chittenango and Bridgeport, and are in talks to open a similar gaming facility as part of the proposed "U District" in Utica.