MI tribe’s $180m on line casino proposal strikes ahead

In Michigan, the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians is inching nearer to securing remaining authorization for his or her proposed tribal on line casino in Muskegon County after on Thursday receiving land belief approval from the federal authorities.

The proposed growth is positioned roughly 90 miles south of the tribe’s established on line casino in Manistee.

After greater than a decade of engaged on the challenge, the Division of Inside (DOI) Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is reportedly anticipated on Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, to formally publish within the Federal Register a Discover of Availability of a Last Environmental Impression Assertion (FEIS) for the tribe’s on line casino challenge on the former Nice Lakes Downs racetrack website in Fruitport Township.

In line with one native supply, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians’ Ogema, Larry Romanelli (pictured beneath), stated…

“That is an unbelievable step ahead in our course of to construct the Muskegon County On line casino Challenge. This was the large one and this mainly to me tells me we’re going to have a on line casino right here in Muskegon.”

EIS issues:

The BIA reportedly thought of each the Little River Band’s proposed on line casino challenge and a variety of financial growth options within the FEIS and arrived on the conclusion that the proposal by the tribe, which relies in Manistee and Mason counties in northwest Michigan, proposal is the popular different of the federal authorities.

After a 30-day public remark interval, the BIA will situation its remaining resolution on the appliance, after which the method advances to the State of Michigan for consideration by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and eventually, Legislative response.

In line with stories, the $180 million growth is estimated by the tribe to create 3,000 new jobs, together with 1,500 full-time positions and 1,500 constructions and ancillary jobs, for the Muskegon neighborhood.

Anticipated opening:

Whereas extra approvals are nonetheless wanted on the state degree, if all goes in line with plan, inside three years the tribe will be capable of open its gaming facility at Harvey Road in Fruitport Township. The gaming and financial growth would reportedly embody almost 70,000 sq ft of gaming house, with 1,700 slot machines, 35 desk video games, a 220-room lodge with occasion and assembly room house, and eating and leisure choices.

Challenge historical past:

The federally acknowledged tribe bought 233 acres of land at and across the former Nice Lakes Downs racetrack website in Fruitport Township in July 2008 and after a five-year lull, a call by then Gov. Rick Snyder was made in October 2013, to permit federal evaluate and allowing course of to happen.

Tribal leaders had reportedly waited for over a yr for the governor to approve the Part 9 wavier, which might enable the on line casino proposal to advance to the federal authorities for consideration, and after the proposal was reviewed and dominated on by the Division of Inside, it will make its method again to the governor for his [Snyder] consideration.


A listening to for an EIS was held on October 15, 2015, by the BIA as a part of the on line casino proposal utility, and at the moment, tribal leaders together with Romanelli have been optimistic. In the meantime, positioned roughly 100 miles away from Muskegon, the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, which owns and operates the Saganing Eagles Touchdown On line casino and Hovering Eagle On line casino in Standish and Mount Nice, have been amongst the proposal’s staunchest objectors.

Quick ahead to March 2019, and along with the Saginaw Chippewa, the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, and Gun Lake tribes, which personal casinos in Battle Creek and Wayland Township, are additionally making an attempt to cease the on line casino from being constructed.

James Nye, a spokesman for the three tribes, reportedly stated on the time…

“We’re making an attempt to teach our workers that as a consequence of this proposed on line casino, there can be a considerable loss in our capacity to supply jobs.” He stated the proposed on line casino would lead to a lack of income for the opposite tribes and subsequently the income they share with their respective communities.

Gun Lake On line casino reportedly went as far as to label the proposed on line casino a menace, sending an electronic mail encouraging its workers to voice their opposition.

Responding to the rival tribe’s motion, Romanelli (on the time) stated…

“Which I feel is unlucky. , from our tribes perspective, we’ve by no means been towards every other tribes’ efforts to get a on line casino. Matter of truth, we wrote a letter of help for Gun Lake again within the day and a few of these identical accusations have been used once more when Gun Lake was making an attempt to open their on line casino.”

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