A federal judge in Grand Rapids has dealt a setback to the proposed casino in downtown Lansing. Judge Robert J. Jonker sided with Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, saying the Sault St. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians cannot take the land into trust without first entering into a revenue-sharing agreement with the other tribes in Michigan.
That is unlikely to happen since the other tribes which operate casinos oppose the Lansing casino.
Taking the land into trust makes it Indian land and eligible for a casino and is crucial for the casino plan to become a reality.
Late this afternoon Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero remained optimistic.
"We always knew that there would be hurdles to overcome on this long legal road," said Bernero in a statement released by his office. "This is just one of them."
" We are committed to continue the fight and believe that we will be successful, said the mayor. "Don't bet against Lansing."
In a statement from the Sault St. Marie Tribe, tribal chairperson Aaron Payment said, "the Sault Tribe remains undeterred and steadfastly committed to pursing our legal right to develop our Lansing casino."