Little River Band sees support for off-reservation casino bid

The crowd lines up to enter the public hearing in Fruitport Township, Michigan. Photo from Muskegon Casino / Twitter

A large crowd turned out at a public hearing on Thursday night to discuss the off-reservation casino proposed by the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians in Michigan.

Dozens of speakers -- including local officials -- expressed support for the $180 million project in Fruitport Township, according to news reports. Opposition came from several people, including a representative of the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe.

"Certainly I am opposed to this project as a representative for the Saginaw Chippewa Indian tribe, and the Saginaw Chippewas is against off-reservation gaming, which is exactly what this project is," spokesperson James Nye said at the hearing, Fox17 reported.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs will use the comments from the hearing for the environmental impact statement on the project. A scoping report could be issued this winter, to be followed by a draft EIS sometime next year.

The Little River Band filed the land-into-trust application for the 60-acre site in February. Plans call for a facility with 69,000 square-feet of gaming floor space, 1,700 slot machines, 35 table games, a 220-room hotel, conference and meeting room space, and dining and entertainment options

The site is about 80 miles from the reservation. The tribe is pursuing the development under the two-part determination provisions of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The law gives veto authority to the state governor if the BIA approves it.

Get the Story:
Standing room only for discussion of proposed Muskegon County tribal casino (MLive Muskegon Chronicle 10/16)
Public comments mostly positive on new casino in Fruitport Township (WZZM 10/16)
Hearing held on the proposed Muskegon casino (Fox17 10/15)
Leaders back Muskegon Co. casino at meeting (WOOD 10/15)

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