Update: Tribe Approves Lansing Casino in Vote
A casino in downtown Lansing is one step closer to breaking ground.
The Sault Ste. Marie tribe of Chippewa Indians says its members have voted and approved the proposal to seek federal permission to open a 245-million dollar casino in downtown Lansing.
The Lansing city council has already voted to move forward with the proposed casino, by selling the property to the Sault tribe. Backers say the casino would create jobs and improve the city.
Critics include Governor Rick Snyder, and other American Indian tribes with competing casinos.
We are following this story, and will let you know what happens next in this process, as soon as we learn more information.
LANSING -- The fate of Lansing's proposed casino lies in the hands of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.
Tribal members began voting in April on the $245 million plan, and the results will be released Thursday night.
The Sault tribe’s board approved plans in March to buy land from the city and share revenue, but members forced a referendum on the issue.
Before they cast their ballots, Mayor Virg Bernero went to Sault Ste. Marie to help promote the Kewadin Casino.
"This will be their casino in Lansing and I really feel that we bridged a lot of the gap," Bernero said at the time.
However, should members vote it down, it could send the agreement between Lansing and the tribe back to square one. If that happens, the mayor says he doesn't really have a backup option.
"I will defer to the tribal council to see how they want to proceed. I can't imagine it will fail," Mayor Bernero said.
For now, Mayor Bernero is already looking at taking the fight for a Lansing casino to the next level.
"This will be voted on shortly in Sault Ste. Marie. I believe it will pass, and then the question is going to be taking the fight to Washington and getting done there what we need to get done," Mayor Bernero said.