Profile on Gun Lake and Other Potawatomi Casinos in Southwest Michigan

Here is the article, thanks to A.K. And an excerpt:

In the early 1990s, two Native American tribes in Southwest Michigan were working to gain federal recognition and open casinos. John Shagonaby, then in his early 20s, saw this and decided to enroll at Western Michigan University, earn a business degree and help his tribe do the same thing.

About 15 years later, the Gun Lake Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi are on the eve of opening the Gun Lake Casino, an 83,000-square-foot gaming hall in Wayland Township that promises to make casino gambling more convenient to hundreds of thousands in West Michigan.

By next New Year’s Eve, you could be there.

While there has been significant opposition, the number of casinos within a short drive of the region’s population centers of Grand Rapids, Muskegon and Kalamazoo is poised for further growth as a new decade dawns.

Two casinos have opened in the past three years, two more will open next year, and another may open in the next three years.

More casinos mean more options for area gamblers, but it also may mean greater competition for gaming dollars, making efficient management essential, experts say.

“It’s supply and demand,” said Jacob Miklojcik, president of Lansing economic development consulting firm Michigan Consultants. “For many years there was a lot of demand and not much supply. That’s changing now.”

But Shagonaby and the Gun Lake Tribe aren’t interested in talking about competition or what other casinos are doing. After a 10-year fight, they’re just glad to be nearing the finish line.

“There were a lot of ups and downs in the road but we made it through it,” he said. “So it will be even sweeter when we swing the doors open.”