IPR on Vanderbilt Casino Ruling


An excerpt:

A written statement from Bay Mills Chair Kurt Perron says the tribe ultimately plans legal victory, and to move forward with its “planned developments.” The tribe did not immediate elaborate on the statement’s meaning.

If Bay Mills is ultimately victorious, the tribe would likely be allowed to build casinos anywhere it wants, without state approval, as long as it buys the land with a specific pool of funds.

“Probably the biggest implication (of today’s ruling) in the long run is just to highlight exactly how difficult it is to shut down a casino opened by an Indian tribe under these circumstances,” says Matthew Fletcher, of MSU’s Indigenous Law Center.

The Vanderbilt Casino is widely regarded as a test site for its Upper Peninsula owner. The tribe has expressed interest in building in Port Huron, and perhaps elsewhere.

It’s not clear what implications this case might have for another Upper Peninsula tribe’s plans to build a casino in downtown Lansing.

One thought on “IPR on Vanderbilt Casino Ruling

  1. Matthew Lesky August 16, 2012 / 2:40 pm

    I’m not sure that it would be all that difficult. The Court went out of its way to state that “nothing in our decision casts doubt on the State’s ability to apply non-discriminatory laws against Indians who go beyond the boundaries of Indian country, so long as there is no federal law to the contrary.” This sounded like a not so subtle invitation to the State to enforce its non-discriminatory gaming laws on any gaming establishment that’s operation is not authorized/governed by a federal law (IGRA).

    Whether such an operation was in fact authorized by a federal law, and therefore whether any enforcement action taken by the State was lawful, would be decided after any enforcement action was taken, likely in a federal court. I think the State avoided going that route for various reasons, but at this point it is increasingly likely this is the route they would ultimately take. Vanderbilt is one thing, Port Huron is another.

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