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LANSING, MICHIGAN The Michigan Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered off the November ballot a proposal that would have locked eight new casinos into the state's constitution. Michigan American Indian tribes are happy with the court's ruling to ward off additional casinos in the state.
The Most Appropriate Decision
“The court made the most appropriate decision. When the supporters say that they feel there still is a will to create more gaming, they fall short in completing that thought. There is a will to create more jobs but not at the expense of other gaming jurisdictions and shifts in economic realities,”
commented Frank Cloutier, public relations director of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan.
“There is no more support for expanded gaming in Michigan. We need to work better together with what we have and expand on our current reality. The State Constitution is no place for business and every place for rights.”
Three Michigan tribes participated in Protect MI Vote, a group that sought to bring perspective to the casino ballot issue. They were Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi. Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan. These three tribes own Indian gaming casinos in Michigan. They were joined by Michigan's non-Indian casinos MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino and Greektown Casino that also were part of Protect MI Vote.
Protect MI Vote spokesperson John Truscott issued the following statement in reaction to the decision:
“Voters owe the Michigan Supreme Court their thanks today for not rolling the dice with Michigan's future. We have said all along that this proposal was poorly written and a terrible piece of public policy for the state. Thankfully, the court recognized that as well. We hope this day is remembered the next time a group of secretive investors attempt to guarantee casino and liquor licenses in our constitution.”
In addition to adding eight new casinos to Michigan's constitution, the ballot proposal would have eliminated the requirement for a statewide and local vote on future casino gaming expansions. The proposal also attempted to bypass state liquor laws by granting automatic liquor licenses to casino properties without approval from the Liquor Control Commission.
“I am extremely pleased with their decision and look forward to continuing efforts for economic development in Muskegon,”
commented Larry Romanelli, Ogema of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, based in Manistee, Michigan, whose Tribe is looking to develop a tribal casino enterprise in Muskegon County, Michigan.
posted September 7, 2012 6:00 am edt