Michigan Casino Proposal Face New Laws - Friday 10th of March 2006

MICHIGAN – As reported by the Port Huron Times: "Port Huron has two groups vying to build a tribal casino in the city.

"One effort got approval from city voters in 2001. The question now is, would the new effort require a similar vote - or even a statewide referendum under Michigan's new gambling law?

"Lawyers are working to find out.

"Port Huron Development of Clinton Township announced plans Monday for a 500-room hotel, casino and indoor water park on 20 downtown acres and extensive renovations to McMorran Place.

"In addition, the Bay Mills Indian Community of Brimley is waiting federal approval to allow the tribe to operate a casino near the Thomas Edison Inn. The issue remains stalled in Congress.

"Bay Mills and inn owner Don Reynolds were partners on the casino idea. Port Huron voters in June 2001 approved bringing a casino to the city. Then-Gov. John Engler approved the Bay Mills deal in 2002, which allowed the tribe to swap Upper Peninsula land near Charlotte Beach for rights to the spot at the Port Huron hotel.

"…The ballot language, however, didn't specify what casino, what Indian tribe or where the casino would be built. State law also changed after Engler approved the Bay Mills-Port Huron deal. It now requires a statewide vote on new casinos…"

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