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Lawsuit challenges underpinning of NY casino deal

ALBANY (AP) -- Two small upstate towns are asking a court to throw out the rules that would govern casino expansion in New York and a related deal between the state and the Oneida Indians.

The towns of Verona and Vernon in central New York argue in a federal lawsuit for nullification of an agreement this year between the state and the Oneida Indian Nation. The deal would allow the tribe to put up to 25,000 acres of land into trust in central New York. The towns argue that would devastate them by taking away their ability to tax land within their boundaries.

While the lawsuit doesn't seek to disrupt the Nov. 5 statewide referendum on casino expansion, a victory by the towns would throw a wrench into the state's casino expansion plans.

AP-WF-09-22-13 1415GMT