Casino Stalker

Sault Tribe proposes off-reservation casino near major airport

The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians hopes to turn an old church at 36181 Sibley Road in New Boston, Michigan, into a gaming facility. Image from Google Maps

The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians is seeking to open an off-reservation casino less than 7 miles from the airport in Detroit, Michigan.

The tribe plans to convert an abandoned 70,000 square-foot church into the gaming facility. The building would also be used to house programs that would provide services to members who live in the area, The Detroit Free Press reported.

"There are thousands of Sault tribal members in the immediate area who do not have adequate access to tribal employment or tribal services," the tribe told the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the paper reported.

The tribe filed the application for the 71-acre site in Huron Township in June 2014. The BIA has not taken any overt steps -- such as preparing an environmental impact statement -- that would indicate movement on the project.

Generally, land placed in trust after 1988 can't be used for gaming. But Section 20 of the law contains an exception for property acquired in connection with a land claim settlement.

The tribe acquired the land with funds from the Michigan Indian Land Claims Settlement Act and argues that the law requires the BIA to place it in trust.

Get the Story:
Failed Wayne Co. horse track tied to new casino plan (The Detroit Free Press 2/14)

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