Indian tribe to continue efforts for 2 new Michigan casinos

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP/WLNS) – An Indian tribe says it will continue its efforts to build gambling facilities in Lansing and near Detroit Metropolitan Airport following a new setback.

The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians says it received a letter this week from the U.S. Department of the Interior saying that the tribe’s applications to put land into trust for the projects have been denied. The tribe on Thursday says the denial is based on flawed legal analysis.

Sault Tribe Chairman Aaron Payment says in a statement the tribe has “no intention of giving up” and may pursue legal, administrative or legislative efforts.

In a written statement Lansing mayor Virg Bernero said “the Interior Department’s decision to deny the Sault Tribe’s trust application is very disappointing, but we stand strong with our tribal partners and will continue the fight to bring a casino to downtown Lansing.”

The tribe for years has said it wants to build a casino near downtown Lansing and another project Wayne County’s Huron Township. The Lansing casino was proposed in 2012.

The land includes two parcels totaling about 2.7 acres at Michigan Avenue and North Cedar Street adjacent to and near the Lansing Center, the city’s convention and events facility.

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