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Planned Muskegon County Casino Clears State Hurdle

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FRUITPORT, MI (WHTC) - There is silence from the eastern side of Allegan County to a possible gaming competitor north of the Lakeshore..

On Saturday, State Senator Geoff Hanson of Hart joined officials of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians in announcing that the state would not stand in the way of the tribe’s Free to Trust Application to set aside the former Great Lakes Downs horse racing track, off of the I-96/US-31 junction west of Fruitport, in trust for the construction of a casino. The tribe, which already operates a gaming house in Manistee that bears their name, wants to build a 100 million-dollar development on the land that it purchased five years ago.

Officials of the Gun Lake Casino in Bradley are not making any public comment on the Little River Band development. Last year, tribal officials said that a proposed casino in Lansing would compel them to stop revenue sharing payments from slot machines to the state and local entities if such a gaming house is built, saying that this would break its nine-county exclusivity agreement with the state, which includes Allegan and Ottawa counties. Muskegon County is not included in the Gun Lake agreement.

The Little River Band will now submit this request to the US Bureau of Indian Affairs.

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