Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents. Discussion »
WAYLAND, MICHIGAN - With the payments announced Monday, the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish of Pottawatomi, most commonly known as the Gun Lake, has now given a total of $10,376,560 to the State of Michigan and local revenue sharing board since it opened the Gun Lake Casino mid-February.
The Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish of Pottawatomi Present Revenue Sharing Payment
Monday's announcement was for the period from April 1, 2011 to September 30, 2011. The State of Michigan's check was for $6,241,766 and the local revenue sharing board received $1,550,441.
Chairman D.K. Sprague made the announcement on Monday morning at the Wayland Union Schools Fine Arts Center with presentation of checks to the State of Michigan and local revenue sharing board.
Chairman D.K. Sprague
"The substantial revenue figures are possible because of the dedication of our team members and outstanding performance of our management team," said Sprague. "We thank them for helping the Tribe make a contribution to improve the lives of our tribal citizens, and neighbors here in West Michigan."
The Tribe and the State of Michigan entered into a government-to-government contract, known as a tribal-state gaming compact. Under the compact, the Tribe agreed to share a percentage of electronic gaming revenues with the state and local governments. The local revenue share equals two percent of net win from electronic gaming devices, while the state payment is calculated on a sliding scale between eight and twelve percent, depending on revenue. Monday's state distribution equaled eight percent of net win from electronic gaming revenue.
The compact prescribes mandatory funding to local municipalities for: costs incurred due to the operation of the casino; public safety services; and replacement of tax revenue. The Board has established bylaws that govern the local distribution process. Other possible uses for local revenue sharing money include funding for schools and civic organizations. The local revenue shared by the Tribe is not dependent on exclusive gaming rights prescribed under the compact.
"Speaking as an elected member of the County Commission, I can tell you firsthand that these revenues are a tremendous boost to municipal budgets. The enhanced services have a very positive impact in the local community," said Mark DeYoung, chairman of Allegan County, where the Gun Lake Casino is located, and member of the local revenue sharing board.
The local revenue sharing money flows down to the school system and is welcomed by school administrators who have faced difficulties with the downturn in Michigan's economy in recent years.
"Because of this money, we have been able to eliminate 'pay to play' for our sports; we have been able to add a 'B' team to our middle school; we have been able to renovate a gym and now we are working on renovating a classroom," said an elated Norman Taylor, superintendent of the Wayland Union Schools. "Our ultimate goal is to create a scholarship with some of the funds."
The Gun Lake Casino has 900 team members and has exceeded its projected revenue since opening.
posted November 29, 2011 7:00 am est
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