Little River Band leader vows support for off-reservation casino

Artist's rendering of proposed off-reservation casino in Fruitport Township, Michigan. Image from Little River Band

The newly re-elected leader of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians will continue to push for an off-reservation casino in Michigan.

The tribe submitted the land-into-trust application for the casino in Fruitport Township in February. Larry Romanelli, who won re-election as ogema last Friday, explained the benefits of the $180 million project.

"The impact to the tribe and local community is tremendous," Romanelli told The Muskegon Chronicle. "The need for the business is there and it is a very worthwhile effort as well as frustrating, but well worth the time and energy. I will do everything in my power to make it happen and during this term of office."

The tribe is pursuing the casino under the two-part determination provisions of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. If the Bureau of Indian Affairs approves, the state governor will have veto authority over the project.

The 60-acre site is about 80 miles from the reservation. The project would be located at a former racetrack.

Get the Story:
Q&A with Little River Band leader Larry Romanelli about proposed tribal casino, tribe's future (The Muskegon Chronicle 4/29)

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