Bay Mills Indian Community plans to reopen controversial casino

The Bay Mills Indian Community operated a casino for a brief time in this building in Vanderbilt, Michigan. Photo by Angela Sebald A controversial casino that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court appears to be coming back.

According to The Petoskey News, the Bay Mills Indian Community plans to reopen the facility in the village of Vanderbilt soon.

"They said ‘we’re closer to opening,’ but no one’s given a date,” Ed Posgate, the president of the village, told the paper.

The tribe surprised just about everyone when it opened the casino in November 2010. The state of Michigan quickly filed a lawsuit, which forced the tribe to shut it down.

Indianz.Com SoundCloud: U.S. Supreme Court Oral Argument in Michigan v. Bay MIlls Indian Community But the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in August 2012 lifted the injunction, holding that the tribe could not be sued without waiving its sovereign immunity. The court also noted that the facility was not located on "Indian lands" as required by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

The state of Michigan appealed but the Supreme Court upheld the decision on both grounds in May 2014. More than two years later, the tribe hasn't officially said whether it would reopen the facility -- The Petoskey News said no one from the tribe was available to comment.

The site in Vanderbilt was acquired in connection with the Michigan Indian Land Claims Settlement Act. As a result, the tribe believes the land must be placed in trust.

Read More on the Story:
Vanderbilt official: Casino to reopen, but no date set (The Petoskey News 11/18)

U.S. Supreme Court Decision:
Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community (May 27, 2014)

U.S. Supreme Court Documents:
Oral Argument Transcript | Order List | Docket Sheet No. 12-515

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