Judge Puts Lansing Casino Plans On Hold - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Judge Puts Lansing Casino Plans On Hold

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - A big setback for plans to build a casino in Lansing after a federal court judge has made a ruling.

A federal judge has approved a preliminary injunction** against plans to build that casino in downtown Lansing.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker stops the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians from taking land for the casino into trust until it gets a written agreement with other federally-recognized tribes in Michigan.

That's unlikely to happen - as at least two other tribes joined the legal filing by the Michigan Attorney General to bring the plans to a halt. A new casino in Lansing would mean competition for casinos built by other tribes.

The Sault Tribe is working with the City of Lansing, and both say they are undeterred by the decision and committed to pursuing the project.

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero released the following statement.

"I remain excited about the casino project and its tremendous potential for jobs and economic development for Lansing. I also remain confident in our legal team and that our proposal to build a casino in downtown Lansing will ultimately prevail. We always knew that there would be hurdles to overcome on this long legal road, and this is just one of them. We are committed to continue the fight and believe that we will be successful. Don't bet against Lansing."

The Chairperson of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Aaron Payment, released the following statement.

"The Sault Tribe remains undeterred and steadfastly committed to pursuing our legal right to develop our Lansing casino. Anyone who understands tribal gaming and the trust land process also understands that this is going to be lengthy process with multiple legal steps along the way. Today's ruling is simply the first step in the legal process. At the end of the day, we expect to prevail because our 1997 federal Land Claim Settlement Act clearly gives us the right, and because of the substantial economic benefits the project will generate for the people of Greater Lansing and the members of our Sault Tribe."

Reporter Nick Perreault is working this story and will have more tonight on 6 News at 11.


**Originally reported as a temporary restraining

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