Gun Lake Casino Construction Update

From the Grand Rapids Press, via Pechanga:

WAYLAND TOWNSHIP — The Gun Lake Casino is back on track through a $165 million loan arranged by Goldman Sachs and announced Tuesday.

Work on the 83,000-square-foot Allegan County gaming facility off U.S. 131 had slowed as the Gun Lake Band of Pottawatomi and its backers faltered in their ability to secure the loan in time to continue construction in time to meet their original plan to open this fall.

The five-year, 12 percent loan, which can be paid off after the third year, means the casino should be able to open sometime in early 2011, according to a statement released by the tribe. A specific opening date is expected to be announced soon.

“We’re going to shoot for January,” said John Shagonaby, chief executive of the Gun Lake Tribal Gaming Authority. “It’s all an estimate at this point. Once we get a couple of months into construction, we’ll be able to have a better idea.”

The delay was the latest in a string of setbacks for the tribe, which spent more than 10 years dealing with regulatory and court challenges only to emerge into a dicey economy that resulted in plans for the casino being scaled back when they were announced last year.

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Hearing on Little River Band Off-Rez Gaming Compact Delayed

From Indianz:

A hearing on the off-reservation casino sought by the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians has been delayed.

The Michigan House Regulatory Reform Committee held an initial hearing on the project on May 26. Additional hearings were scheduled but they were canceled.

“I don’t get why they’re holding this up,” Rep. Doug Bennett (D), who supports the casino, told The Muskegon Chronicle.

The new hearing probably won’t be held until the end of this month or in early July, an aide to Rep. Bert Johnson, the chairman of the committee, told the paper. The location hasn’t been determined either although it will be held somewhere in the Muskegon area.

The tribe wants to build the casino at a former racetrack in Fruitport Township, near Muskegon. The site is about 80 miles from the tribe’s headquarters but it’s within the tribe’s nine-county service area.

The Saginaw Chippewa Tribe, the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indians and the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians oppose the project. They say the Little River Band violated the terms of the original Class III compact by not seeking approval from other tribes for an off-reservation casino.

Get the Story:

State House group to have casino proposal hearing here (The Muskegon Chronicle 6/15)

Opening Briefs in First Major Post-Carcieri Challenge to Fee to Trust–Updated

The case is Patchak v. Salazar (D.C. Cir.) and involves the DOI’s taking of land into trust for the Gun Lake Band of Pottawatomi Indians. The land already is in trust.

Here are the opening briefs:

2010-04-09 Patchak Opening Brief

2010-05-10 Gun Lake Answer Brief (Filed)

02 Proposed Brief Amicus Curiae–NCAI

2010-05-10 U.S. Answer Brief

Lower court materials are here.

Gun Lake Casino Construction Update

From Indianz:


The Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Potawatomi Indians, also known as the Gun Lake Tribe, held a topping out ceremony for the $157 million Gun Lake Casino last week.

The tribe began work on the 83,000-square-foot facility last fall. Construction is expected to be complete by the end of the summer.

The casino is located off a major interstate in Wayland Township, Michigan. Continue reading

Gun Lake Band Casino Plans

From mlive via Pechanga.net:

Rendering courtesy Gun Lake TribeThe exterior of the new Gun Lake Casino in Wayland

After repeated roadblocks that delayed the Gun Lake Casino from becoming a reality, plans for construction of the project finally are in motion, albeit on a smaller scale initially.

“Everything’s a go,” said John Shagonaby, CEO of MBPI Inc., the economic development corporation of the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians.

The federal government in August officially declared the casino site in Wayland a reservation, and a federal judge dismissed the final lawsuit to stop it.

A ground breaking is scheduled for 10 a.m. Sept. 17.

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Casinos close to cashing in

by Chris Killian | Special to the Gazette

Saturday February 09, 2008, 6:32 PM

Two area gambling hubs could open by late next year, pending court ruling

Mark Bugnaski / GazetteKristine Albers checks new decks of cards at The Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo in August. By mid-to-late 2009, southwest Michigan could have two more casinos.

Two Native American casinos could be open in Southwest Michigan by the middle to end of next year, bringing with them an estimated 3,000 casino jobs, another 2,600 spin-off jobs and the potential for millions of dollars in annual local-revenue sharing. They would become the 22nd and 23rd casinos in the state, and both would be within an hour’s drive of Kalamazoo.Ground could be broken as soon as this spring on both the FireKeepers Casino in Emmett Township, just east of Battle Creek, and the Gun Lake Casino, in Wayland Township, about 35 miles north of Kalamazoo on U.S. 131.

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