Lansing casino plan may hit legal snags

Lansing, MI – The city of Lansing may be in for a legal fight as it plans to build a new $245 million casino.

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero and the Sault Ste. Marie band of Chippewa Indians are trumpeting their agreement to build a 125,000 square foot casino. But the Saginaw Chippewas challenge that claim. They say the Sault's decision to build far outside their historic tribal lands is illegal.

Saginaw spokesman James Nye says a new casino in Lansing would also nullify a state compact with two other tribes that would effectively end their revenue sharing obligation.

"This casino is threatening revenues that the state is actually receiving; not promises the state is getting, but real dollars that are actually going to the state coffers right now," says Nye.

A spokesman for the Sault Ste. Marie Chippewas insists the tribe is within its legal rights to build in Lansing. He says the tribe plans to file a federal application this summer.