HomePublicationsNewsletter ArchiveNewslettersVolume 21Issue 33Mackinaw City Holds Hearing on Proposed Casino Development

On Thursday, October 8, 2015, the Village of Mackinaw City held a public hearing on the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians’ (“Tribe”) proposed casino development in the municipality.

In September of 2003, the Mackinaw City Village Council voted against a similar development by a 6-1 margin. Since then, there have been a number of public hearings and regarding a tribal casino development, including an April 2013 hearing in Mackinaw City regarding a proposed 550 slot machine development in Emmet County.

Thursday’s hearing covered the Tribe’s proposed development at the former Thunderfalls Water Park in the Mackinaw City. According to a Tribal Resolution entered in June 2015, the Tribe has allocated $3.32 million to implement a five-year strategic plan to establish a 64 machine establishment and to partially fund the expansion. The project would begin in 2016 and has the possibility to expand with an additional 136 machines in 2018, followed by another potential expansion of 200 machines in 2020, for a total of 400 machines.

The Tribe currently operates the Odawa Casino Resort in Petoskey. Under the Tribe’s Tribal-State Gaming Compact, the Tribe may build a second facility on land holdings in Emmet or Charlevoix Counties. The second facility, however, must first receive the approval of the local unit of government affected by the development.



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