HomePublicationsNewsletter ArchiveNewslettersVolume 18Issue 29Attorney General Files Suit to Prevent Lansing Casino

On Friday, September 7, 2012, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed a Complaint and a Motion for Preliminary Injunction to prevent the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians (“Tribe”) from moving forward with plans to open an off-reservation casino in downtown Lansing. The lawsuit follows a letter issued in May of this year by Schuette to the federal government expressing the state’s concerns that the new facility would violate federal law and the Tribe’s gaming compact with the state.

The Complaint filed on Friday seeks both a declaratory ruling on whether the proposed casino is legal and asks for the court to enjoin the Tribe from allowing any gaming to occur onsite. The state has alleged that the Tribe would violate provisions of its gaming compact with the state, that the Tribe is violating the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and the Michigan Gaming and Revenue Act, and that the operation of the facility would constitute a “nuisance” under Michigan law. Specifically, the Complaint alleges that the Tribe would be violating the revenue sharing portions of its gaming compact with the state as well as federal law by constructing a casino on land that has not been properly deemed eligible for casino gaming use by the federal government.

Also on Friday, the state filed a Motion and Brief in Support for a Preliminary Injunction to prevent the Tribe from approaching the federal government for the approvals needed to make the land eligible for a casino. The Brief in Support focuses on the Tribe’s alleged violation of its gaming compact with the state by failing to enter into a revised revenue sharing agreement once it decided to seek an additional casino.

The state has requested an oral argument on the Motion for Preliminary Injunction but none has been scheduled by the court at this time.

The Tribe, together with Lansing Mayor Virg Benero, announced its intent to work with the City of Lansing on developing a downtown casino in January of this year. The project, tentatively named Lansing Kewadin Casino, would be located next to the Lansing Center. Mayor Bernero has been a strong supporter of the project.

 

 

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