- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 4, 2014

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A federal judge has approved a deal between the Oneida Indian Nation and New York that guarantees the tribe exclusive territory for their central New York casino and guarantees payments to the state of around $50 million annually.

Tribal and local officials say U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Kahn on Tuesday approved the deal reached by the Cuomo administration last May.

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

Oneida Representative Ray Halbritter said in a prepared statement that the nation is excited about “a new era of shared prosperity.”

The Oneidas agreed to give the state 25 percent of the Turning Stone casino’s net revenue from slots.