Lansing Casino Proposed

By: Jamie Edmonds Email
By: Jamie Edmonds Email

Perhaps it could go right next to the ball park, or just around the corner from the Capitol. Ted O'Dell of the newly-formed Lansing Jobs Coalition said it matters less where a new proposed casino in Lansing would go, and more about what it could do for the community.

"We believe there would be 1,500 jobs created," O'Dell said.

O'Dell is the chair of the newly formed grass roots group who's first mission to try to get a tribal casino to set up shop here. He said the community would be lucky to have it.

"It's worked pretty well all over the state," he said. "We see a number of positive things it does for the community with jobs, and bringing revenue in," O'Dell said.

The first step is to get 4,100 people to sign the initiative to get it on the August primary ballot. O'Dell and his group will be at the stadium all week to get to make it to that goal.

"It's just a simply question, 'should there be gaming in Lansing,'" Lansing City Attorney Brig Smith said.

Smith said that very vague ballot question would not be legally binding whatsoever. Even if voters were to pass it, there would still be several state and federal legal hoops to jump through.

"Whether it's tribal, or non-tribal, there are number of legal issues," Smith said. "I don't believe this is an end by any means, it's less a legal endeavor then it is a policy or political endeavor."

O'Dell doesn't look at this idea as a long shot, in fact he said, there are three tribes that have expressed interest in developing here.

"We're hoping once it passes, the city will sit down with the three tribes to negotiate a gaming compact with the city," O'Dell said.

If all goes as planned, there would first be a temporary casino set up, then down the road a brand new development would be built of a casino and hotel.

O'Dell predicts if this plan makes it that far, a new development casino could employ 3-5,000 people.

He said he knows this casino idea has been talked about before in Lansing, but with so many people out of work, and the city looking for more revenue, there couldn't be a better time.


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