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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  • by Sebastian Location: north Lansing on Aug 27, 2011 at 01:23 PM
    The thing I find most concerned about this effort is that the leader, Ted O'Dell, lives in a stately three story home in the Westside Neighborhood, yet receives food stamps (EBT). Besides literally taking food away from more needy citizens, it shows a serious prioritiation problem with Mr. O'Dell. If his efforts were directed toward finding a job, the food assistance would not be necissary. Further still, the fact that Mr. O'Dell has stripped his foreclosed home in the Upper Penninsula of any valuables (including permanent fixtures) while on his casino crusade highlights an alarming lack of character. The entire casino movement loses a measure of legitimacy when its leader is quick to literally steal from banks, abuse government assistance programs and demonstrate a shunning of responsibility. How can he be an advocate for 'jobs' when he seems so quick to avoid obtaining one himself?
  • by Steve Location: Lansing on Apr 15, 2011 at 05:36 AM
    Good idea, but do to traffic and parking congestion, keep the cacino out of downtown area. Thank you.
  • by Yvonne Location: Grand Ledge on Apr 14, 2011 at 03:47 PM
    Why stop at a Casino? Make it a family affair. Have a indoor water park/hotel. Build the Casino on the old GM property and connect them by train. We already have great golf courses to add to the package. Why make it an Indian casino?
  • by Anonymous on Apr 7, 2011 at 03:56 AM
    As someone who hate taxing the rich, I love seeing state taxed casinos and lotteries. It is a legal and voluntary tax on the poor and stupid. They more they think they think they can win, the more they give to the government. It is the perfect Ponzi scheme.
  • by RT Location: Lansing on Apr 6, 2011 at 11:06 AM
    What a sad state of affairs it is when Michigan's capital city has to lower itself to considering a casino to get the economy moving again. By the way...Cap'n Rita, you're dead-on with your assessment and I'm right behind you getting outta this pit of a city ASAP!!
  • by Angele Location: Lansing on Apr 6, 2011 at 08:29 AM
    Saying gambling brings in prostition, crime, drugs and low life society is a bunch of bull. The majority of people I ever see at a casino look like my grandmother! A casino is a fantasic way to bring people to Lansing and to create jobs. I have wanting a casino here for years. Everyone that I've ever known to work at a casino has never started at mimimum wage, these are good paying jobs. I think it should be built on some of the vacant GM propery, what else are we gonna do with it? If you give people a reason to come to your city they will spend money!
  • by Anonymous on Apr 6, 2011 at 03:17 AM
    Communities and government entities become desperate when they start allowing gambling as a source of jobs and revenues. Gambling bring in prostitution, crime, drugs and the other low life of society. Look at how much a casino has helped Detroit, Central Michigan and Battle Creek.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 5, 2011 at 04:25 PM
    This is what Lansing has come down to. A Casino downtown Lansing. I guess it's okay? Maybe Lansing should keep the bars open 24/7 or sell dope in the casino. I have one question why can't Lansing just get more good paying jobs.
  • by Roxann Location: lansing on Apr 5, 2011 at 03:25 PM
    I just got back from Firekeepers in Battle Creek never been before and was shocked at the people gambling and this was a Tuesday. And the person I happen to be with has a family member that works as a manager at Firekeepers and he drives from here every day to work at the casino.I think it would help Lansing a lot and put a lot of people back to work!
  • by Cap'n Rita Location: Lansing on Apr 5, 2011 at 03:22 PM
    How many of those 1,500 jobs are going to be above minimum wage? There are thousands of jobs already available in the Lansing area-no one wants them because they are minimum or barely better than. One only needs to log in to MTB.org and there they are. 1,500 minumum wage jobs are going to be a poor gain over the exponentially larger number of already desperate people spending their un-employment checks on a chance to hit it big. Thanks for giving me one more argument for leaving the Lansing area.
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