Cayuga Nation Opens Class II Casino On West Side Of Cayuga Lake

Written By Matt Boecker on January 3, 2023

What was once a Seneca Falls gas station has been repurposed into a gaming facility called Lakeside Entertainment operated by Cayuga Nation.

The venue is located on the west side of Cayuga Lake in central New York. While classified as a casino, the venue located on the west side of Cayuga Lake in central New York does not have the same bells and whistles you’d find at most other New York casinos.

Get to know Lakeside Entertainment Class II casino

Rather, Lakeside Entertainment only offers video gaming, also known as slot machines, and bingo. This is due to a compact with the state that labels Lakeside Entertainment as a Class II casino, which prohibits table games.

Overseeing the new casino, Cayuga Nation federal representative Clint Halftown had this to say in a statement ahead of Lakeside Entertainment’s grand opening:

“In addition to our various other enterprises, gaming has long been a way that we can provide critical resources for our community at large and the citizens of the Cayuga Nation. We are excited to add this new gaming facility in addition to our existing casino in Union Springs and look forward to welcoming residents in the coming days.”

How Cayuga Nation acquired NY casino property

The property that was formerly used as a gas station was seized in 2020 by a council led by Halftown. Other businesses also taken by the council included a daycare center and an ice cream stand. All three buildings were demolished after Halftown’s council reclaimed the land.

The previous owners of the property were a rivaling group of traditional Cayuga Nation Chiefs and Clan Mothers, who seized the land from the Cayuga Nation in 2014. When Cayuga Nation got it back, the council had the buildings demolished to eliminate public safety issues.

The groups disputed over the land from the time the Cayuga Nation Chiefs and Clan Mothers seized it in 2014, to the day Halftown’s council got it back in 2020. The council filed a suit in state court to have the opposing groups removed from the property. The council claimed the Cayuga Nation legally owned the land.

But the New York Court of Appeals denied the council’s case, claiming they had no authority to take legal action in the land argument. Four months later, Halftown’s council took it upon themselves to seize the property.

More about the Cayuga Nation

Cayuga Nation is part of the Haudenosaunee, which is an alliance of native nations located in the Empire State. Other nations included in the alliance are the Seneca, Onondaga, Oneida and Tuscarora.

Cayuga Nation’s land surrounds Cayuga Lake, an area they have called home for hundreds of years.

Besides the recently opened casino, Cayuga Nation also operates another Lakeside Entertainment facility in the village of Union Springs. Like the new venue, the first location is also a Class II casino that offers only slot machines and bingo.

Photo by Shutterstock / PlayNY
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Matt Boecker

Born in Oak Lawn, Illinois, Matt graduated from Northern Illinois University, where he covered NIU hockey for the Northern Star. Since then, Matt has specialized in NFL and NBA coverage for various websites and podcasts before shifting gears to casino and sports betting coverage.

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