Steve Pego: Michigan compact bars off-reservation casino

Chief Steve Pego of the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe of Michigan. Still image from YouTube

Chief Steve Pego explains why the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe opposes an off-reservation casino proposed by the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians in Michigan:
A key provision of the 1993, and 1998 gaming compacts which Little River is a party, is Section 9. This sensible, and simple, requirement says that no Michigan tribe shall even submit a land into trust application for an off-reservation casino unless all the other Michigan tribes agree in writing.

The Saginaw Tribe's casino in Saganing did not implicate Section 9 because that land clearly is within our reservation boundaries and no challenge was ever raised by the state or any tribe for that reason. Section 9 of the compact does apply to the proposed Muskegon casino however because it will not be located within Little River's reservation boundaries as required by the compact. Section 9 of the compacts was meant to prevent exactly what Little River is attempting to do in Muskegon, which is exactly what several Upper Peninsula tribes are also attempting to do in Lansing, Romulus, Port Huron, Flint, Vanderbilt, etc.

The tribes and the state had the foresight of knowing without something reasonable in place there would be a never ending parade of casino proposals by restless tribes. We should all agree that is not good policy for anyone.

We support Little River's casino resort in Manistee, and wish them continued success within their federally-designated reservation area. The Saginaw Tribe's opposition to the Little River off-reservation casino proposal in Muskegon is based on law and policy.

Get the Story:
Steve Pego: State compacts do not allow an 'off-reservation' Indian casino in Fruitport (MLive/Muskegon Chronicle 11/6)

Federal Register Notice:
Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Fruitport Casino Project, Fruitport Township, Muskegon County, Michigan (September 21, 2015)

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