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1st $11M payment made in Oneida Nation deal

ALBANY — The Oneida Indians have made their first payment of $11 million under a deal with the state that guarantees the tribe exclusive territory for their central New York casino.

A federal judge last week approved the deal reached with the Cuomo administration last May. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday the payment was made to Madison County and more money is forthcoming.

The deal assures the Oneidas that no competing casino will be located near their Turning Stone casino in Verona in neighboring Oneida County. In return, the tribe will give to the government 25 percent of the casino’s net revenue from slot machines, expected to be around $50 million annually.

The deal helped pave the way for Cuomo to shepherd expanded casino gambling in New York and settled longstanding tribal tax and land claim issues.