Casino Stalker | Compacts | Legislation
Little River Band blasts tribes for off-reservation casino battle

The Michigan House Regulatory Reform Committee held a hearing on Friday to consider the off-reservation casino sought by the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians.

The tribe wants to build a casino at a former racetrack in Fruitport Township, about 80 miles from tribal headquarters. The effort has run into opposition from other tribes.

"We understand other casino interests do not want competition, but don't delay jobs for the Muskegon region; don't delay revenues to the state School Aid Fund," Robert Memberto, commerce director for the Little River Band, told the committee, The Muskegon Chronicle reported.

The Saginaw Chippewa Tribe, the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indians and the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians testified against the casino. They say the Little River Band violated the terms of the original Class III compact by not seeking approval from other tribes for an off-reservation casino.

"It is truly unfortunate that this governor, in the waning days of her administration, would encourage tribes to conduct off-reservation gaming in violation of the compacts that the tribes negotiated with the state," Saginaw Chippewa Chief Dennis Kequom said at the hearing, the paper reported.

The tribe renegotiated its compact to authorize the casino. But the Bureau of Indian Affairs has warned it might reject the deal because it refers to land that is not yet held in trust.

The tribe has acquired a total of 233 acres for the project. According to news reports, the tribe plans to file a land-into-trust application for 60 acres.

Get the Story:
Little River Band of Ottawa Indians accuses others of delaying action on Fruitport casino over fears of competition (The Muskegon Chronicle 7/5)

Related Stories:
BIA official warns of rejection for off-reservation gaming pact (6/28)
Hearing for Little River Band off-reservation casino delayed (6/15)
Editorial: Don't delay Little River Band off-reservation casino (6/9)
Letter: Little River off-reservation casino good for economy (6/7)
Another hearing scheduled on Little River Band casino plan (5/31)
Little River Band defends off-reservation casino at hearing (5/27)
Bill introduced on Little River Band off-reservation casino (4/14)
Editorial: Support Little River Band off-reservation casino (3/29)
Little River Band wins support for two casino agreements (3/23)
Little River Band signs compact for off-reservation casino (3/22)