New York | Opinion

Paula Terwilliger: Non-Indian casino undermines tribal success


The Oneida Nation owns and operates the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York, Photo from Facebook

Paula Terwilliger, a member of the Oneida Nation, calls on the state of New York to kill plans for the $425 million Lago Resort & Casino, a non-Indian facility at the edge of the tribe's exclusivity zone:
I am a proud member of the community of Verona. I have lived here all my life, my parents live here, I go out to eat here, I shop here and I have raised my family here. I hope to retire here.

I am also an Oneida member who works at Turning Stone Resort Casino. I am proud to be part of a community that has continued growing despite tough economic times. And I am frightened to think of what could happen to our community if Lago, the proposed Seneca County casino, is permitted to move forward.

I vividly remember the early days in 1993 when Turning Stone was only a small casino with table games. Community residents were hopeful that Turning Stone would create 1,000 jobs. And, fairly quickly it happened. Now, here we are today with nearly 5,000 jobs. I don’t understand why anyone would want to undermine that type of economic success.

I have seen constant progress in all areas of Turning Stone and how it has helped grow our region and provide stability to our neighborhoods. In my family alone, both my son and I work at the casino and my husband is a vendor for Turning Stone. We want to keep our jobs and stay in the community that we have lived our whole lives and love.

Get the Story:
Paula Terwilliger: Keep jobs here -- deny application for Seneca County casino (The Utica Observer-Dispatch 11/22)

Another Opinion:
Editorial: State should deny Lago gaming license (The Utica Observer-Dispatch 11/22)

Also Today:
Casino opponents seek injunction to stop work (The Finger Lake Times 11/22)
Vernon Downs majority owner: No position on Lago (The Finger Lake Times 11/22)

Related Stories:
Oneida Nation wages war against non-Indian gaming facility (11/12)
Oneida Nation launches campaign to block non-Indian casino (10/21)
Oneida Nation files lawsuit over non-Indian commercial casino (09/09)
Oneida Nation still working on shopping center at gaming facility (06/24)
Oneida Nation asks state to deny license for non-Indian casino (04/03)
Column: Tribes concerned about commercial casinos in New York (01/22)
Editorial: Expansion of gaming pushed as quick fix for New York (12/22)
New York passes over tribes for first commercial casino licenses (12/18)