On March 15, 2017, an agreement regarding the Hannahville Potawatomi Indian Community (“Tribe”) gaming compact was signed by Judge Gordon Quist in the Western District Court of Michigan. The agreement allows the Tribe to continue gaming operations at its Island Resort & Casino in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan under its original gaming compact, adopted in 1993. However, according to the agreement signed on March 15, there will be an increase in payments made from the Tribe’s Annual Net Win, which is the total amount wagered on electronic games minus the total amount paid to players for wining wagers. Those payments include:
· 1 percent of its Annual Net Win, which is the total amount wagered on electronic games minus the total amount paid to players for winning wagers from such gaming, to Travel Michigan for regional travel marketing, up to $50 million,
· 1 percent of its Annual Net Win, up to $50 million, paid to an escrow account to make bond payments for the construction of new public schools in the Bark River-Harris School District,
· Payments to the Michigan Strategic Fund following the structure of 1 percent of its Annual Net Win up to $50 million, 5 percent of its net win between $50 million and $75 million, and 7 percent of its net win over $75 million,
· Another 2 percent of the Annual Net Win will go to any state government units located “in the immediate vicinity” of the tribe’s casino, and;
· If state law is changed to allow Class III games or electronic gaming over the internet or a similar format and a compact amendment with the Tribe is made to allow it, the Hannahville Tribe would pay 8 percent of its annual net win from those games to the Michigan Strategic Fund.
The new agreement and payments reflect an additional 3 percent of net win that will be paid to the state of Michigan by the Tribe.
Since 2012, the state of Michigan and the Hannahville Potawatomi Indian Community have been in talks regarding the original compact which expired in November of 2013. However, despite good faith effort from both sides, the two parties were unable to renegotiate the compact. Then on March 13, 2017, Attorney General Bill Schuette filed a complaint against the Tribe for its continuation of gaming operations beyond the date which was stated in the 1993 compact. The situation was resolved on March 14, as both parties entered a stipulation and agreement for entry of a consent judgement, resulting in the signed agreement on March 15.
Under the new agreement, the state of Michigan shall not exercise its unilateral right to renegotiate or terminate the Compact prior to November 30, 2042.