Fond du Lac Band wins approval of agreement to end casino battle

The Fond du Lac Band owns and operates the Fond-du-Luth Casino in Duluth, Minnesota. Photo from Facebook

A long-running gaming dispute between the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians and the city of Duluth, Minnesota, has finally come to an end.

The dispute arose when the tribe stopped sharing revenues from the Fond-du-Luth Casino. The National Indian Gaming Commission, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the federal courts all agreed that an arrangement in which the city reaped $75 million from the facility violated the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Despite those wins, along with victories in other related cases and administrative proceedings, local leaders kept on fighting in hopes of securing more revenues. But that ended on Friday when the city council voted 8-0 to approve an agreement that ends the matter once and for all.

The agreement calls on the tribe to pay $150,000 a year to the city to address operations at the casino. In the event a hotel or motel opens at or near the site, the parties will "negotiate in good faith" regarding additional potential contributions, according to the document.

In exchange, the city is dropping a case that was heard by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on April 7. A second court case and a land-into-trust also will be withdrawn, according to the agreement.

Get the Story:
Duluth council approves deal to end 7 years of litigation with Fond du Lac Band (Minnesota Public Radio 6/10)
'Today is a new day': Duluth councilors back deal with Fond du Lac Band (The Duluth News Tribune 6/11)
Duluth, Fond du Lac Band reach agreement over casino revenue (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 6/12)

An Opinion:
Our view: City-band deal worth embracing (The Duluth News Tribune 6/9)

D.C. Federal Court Decision:
Duluth v. National Indian Gaming Commission (March 31, 2015)

8th Circuit Court of Appeals Decisions:
Duluth v. Fond Du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (May 8, 2015)
City of Duluth v. Fond Du Lac Band (January 14, 2013)

Join the Conversation

Related Stories
Fond du Lac Band reaches agreement in long-running casino feud (6/8)
Fond du Lac Band won't confirm plan for site adjacent to casino (04/27)
Fond du Lac Band almost finished with $6.2M casino upgrade (08/14)
Donna Ennis: City lynches Fond du Lac Band in gaming dispute (8/10)
Fond du Lac Band wants to resolve long-running gaming fight (8/3)
Fond du Lac Band prevails yet again in long-running casino feud (7/29)
City tries to lower litigation costs in Fond du Lac Band casino case (06/05)
City submits appeal in gaming dispute with Fond du Lac Band (6/2)
Mayoral candidate embraces Fond du Lac Band urban casino (05/19)
Fond du Lac Band prevails again in long-running casino case (05/08)
Fond du Lac Band spars with city over services for urban casino (04/15)
Fond du Lac Band faces more court battles with city over casino (04/02)
City loses yet another ruling in Fond du Lac Band casino dispute (4/1)
Fond du Lac Band plans to spend $5.5M on casino renovations (3/23)