Partnership is a knockout for region, officials say

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VERONA — The Oneida Indian Nation announced a five-year deal with the International Boxing Hall of Fame Monday morning at the Turning Stone Event Center. The program will feature a series of nationally-televised boxing events at Turning Stone, and will culminate with a series of shared events each June at the hall’s Induction Weekend.

The deal’s slate of programs will begin this Saturday with a 12-round super featherweight title bout between Jezreel Corrales and Alberto Machado held at the event center.

The 2018 Induction Weekend will be held June 7-10. A series of boxing matches are scheduled for Friday, June 7 at the event enter and the casino will also host the banquet of champions on Saturday, June 8. The 2018 inductions will be held Sunday, June 10 at the Hall of Fame in Canastota.

“We are excited that this partnership will provide fans with a knockout experience,” Boxing Hall of Fame Executive Director Ed Brophy said.

Bridge to the Future

Oneida Indian Nation spokesman and Nation Enterprises CEO Ray Halbritter said the deal will help boost tourism dollars in Oneida and Madison counties, and is the result of ongoing partnerships between that began with the June 2013 gaming compact between the OIN, Oneida and Madison counties and New York State.

The compact has given the OIN gaming rights in a 10-county region and a portion of that income is given to the counties as a means of resolving land claim issues.

“We have had disagreements in the past, but instead of throwing stones we have learned to use those stones to build bridges between us,” Halbritter said.

In Madison County the OIN opened the Yellow Brick Road Casino in June 2015 and will open Point Place Casino next year.

In Oneida County Turning Stone Casino underwent a $20 million expansion earlier this year. That expansion led to the creation of 80 new jobs, and is poised to keep the resort’s position as a top destination despite increasing competition in the gaming industry.

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente recently lauded the partnership while addressing the Oneida County legislature. He said the $60 million realized under the compact has helped keep taxes down an average of five percent each year in the county since then. He thanked the OIN during the press conference.

“I am looking forward to seeing where the bridges that we’ve built will take us,” he said.

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