Oneidas plan big expansion at Yellow Brick Road Casino

by Administrator
in Casino

CHITTENANGO, NY -- The Oneida Indian Nation continues to invest in and expand its gaming and entertainment offerings in Central New York.

Its latest project is an upgrade to the Yellow Brick Road Casino in Chittenango that includes an indoor golf range, a six-lane bowling center and games like shuffleboard and pool..

The expansion, which is part of a nearly $10 million overall investment in Yellow Brick Road, also features additional gaming options (including more sports betting stations), a new bar and restaurants and a new exterior facade. It is expected to be complete by February.

Yellow Brick Road opened in 2015 in the Chittenango Plaza at 800 W. Genesee St., just east of the Onondaga County line.

This project follows other recent investments by the Oneidas in their operations in Madison and Oneida counties: An expansion of the gaming floor at Point Place Casino in Bridgeport; an upgrade to hotel rooms and other improvements at the Oneidas biggest venue, Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona; and a new indoor/outdoor dining and slot machine venue in Sylvan Beach.

Yellow Brick Road, Turning Stone and Point Place this year have also opened sports betting lounges -- or sportsbooks -- in partnership with Caesar’s Sports.

Yellow Brick Road Casino expansion

Rendering of the new exterior facade coming to the Oneida Nation's Yellow Brick Road Casino on Route 5 in Chittenango.

The Oneidas investment also comes amid what has been a tough time for some of its competitors in the Upstate New York casino gaming industry. Several of the non-Indian nation owned casinos have reported lower-than-expected earnings, while the Seneca Nation of Indians in western New York has been involved in a prolonged tax dispute with the state.

The Oneidas, however, believe that continued investment in their properties is good business, said Joel Barkin, the nation’s vice president for communications. The recent expansions and additions to the nation’s operations have created more than 125 jobs, with another 20 estimated to come with the Yellow Brick Road expansion, he said.

“We’ve made significant investments in Turning Stone and Point Place, and Yellow Brick Road definitely needed some attention to keep up and remain a destination,” Barkin said.

The three casinos, he said, generated $70 million this year in gaming payments to the state and the 10 counties in the Oneidas’ exclusive gaming territory. That’s the “most successful” year in gaming payments since the Oneidas signed its most recent compact with the state in 2013. Under the compact, the Oneidas pay 25 percent of their slot revenue to the state and local governments.

Much of the expansion at Yellow Brick Road will happen in the space once occupied the nation’s full-service liquor store, the Tin Woodsman’s Flask. It closed earlier this year to make way for the new sportsbook and expansion.

Yellow Brick Road expansion

Rendering of the casino bar coming to the Oneida Nation's Yellow Brick Road Casino on Route 5 in Chittenango.


Highlights of the Yellow Brick Road expansion include:

-- A Topgolf Swing Suite, with two bays, several HDTVs, lounge seating, golf and non-golf games, including Zombie Dodgeball, Baseball Pitching, Soccer, Hockey and more.

-- A luxury six-lane Brunswick Bowling Center for all skill levels.

-- A new space for “social” games like shuffleboard and pool.

-- A new casino bar and dining venues. A Burgers of Madison County venue, similar to one at Point Place, is now open.

-- A new exterior facade that will give the casino a modern industrial chic look.

The sportsbook that opened at Yellow Brick Road in September is the state’s largest in physical size. It also hosts a weekly eSports tournament.

“This new phase of renovations at YBR is geared to exceed guest expectations, and is a reflection of the Oneida Indian Nation’s ongoing commitment to reinvesting in Central New York," Oneida Indian Nation Representative and Oneida Nation Enterprises CEO Ray Halbritter said in a news release. "By expanding our offerings, we will be creating new jobs and helping to revitalize the region as a premier tourist destination.”