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Litigation | NIGC
Fond du Lac Band back in court over casino agreement

The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians and the city of Duluth, Minnesota, were back in court over a disputed gaming agreement.

The tribe and the city first entered into an agreement for the Fond-du-Luth Casino in 1986. The agreement was amended in 1994, requiring the tribe to share 19 percent of gross revenues with the city.

The National Indian Gaming Commission has ruled that the revenue sharing provisions in the 1994 agreement are void. The tribe has cut off payments and has won a decision in federal court supporting its position.

Now the city is suing the tribe in state court for breach of contract under the 1986 agreement. One issue is the tribe's land-into-trust application for a one-acre property adjacent to the casino.

The city claims the 1986 agreement bars the tribe from adding “Indian Country” to the casino without the city's consent. The tribe counters that the 1994 agreement removed the consent provision and requires disputes to be heard in federal court.

The city wants the state court to block the tribe from pursuing the land-into-trust application. A decision is pending.

Get the Story:
City argues to block expansion of tribal land in downtown Duluth (The Duluth News Tribune 4/20)

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Fond du Lac Band asked BIA to review casino arrangement (3/29)