Proposed casino will be on site of closed down Great Lakes Downs race track.
FRUITPORT TOWNSHIP, MICHIGAN—The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians’ proposed $100 million off-reservation casino received the endorsement from the Muskegon County Commission on the site of the former Great Lakes Downs horse race track.
The county commission approved a resolution unanimously last week at a regularly scheduled county commission meeting.
The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians is based in Manistee, Michigan. The proposed casino is located approximately 90 miles south of its tribal headquarters and the Tribe’s existing Little River Casino Resort.
Fruitport Township is located in Muskegon County. The Muskegon region is home to a large concentration of Little River Band tribal citizens who actively support the casino project.
The Tribe is currently seeking approval for the proposed off-reservation casino from the Department of the Interior – Indian Affairs. If approval is received by Indian Affairs for the casino, the Tribe still needs the approval of the Michigan Legislature and Michigan’s Governor Rick Snyder.
Last October, Governor Snyder announced he would support consideration of the casino. The governor would need to agree to an amendment to the Tribe’s gaming compact that is already in existence for the Little River Casino Resort.
The Tribe purchased the land which was home to the now closed-down Great Lakes Downs horse race track in 2008 just off the intersection of I-96 and US 31 in Muskegon County. During the intervening years, the majority of structures that made up Great Lakes Downs have been demolished and tribal officials spent several years garnering state and local governmental support.