The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians is one step closer to building a casino in Muskegon County.
The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians’ Muskegon County casino project recently received approval from the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs, and now the tribe is working with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the state in negotiating a compact where the casino can be built at a former racetrack in Fruitport Township.
“This ruling clears the way for our tribe to work with the governor to create 3,000 new jobs and a permanent, year-round entertainment venue in Muskegon County,” said Tribal Ogema Larry Romanelli. “We thank the Muskegon Community and other West Michigan communities for their support over the past 12 years, and we look forward to putting shovels in the ground.”
The tribe is building the casino with internal financial resources and no taxpayer dollars.
According to the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, the county casino project represents an investment of over $180 million in the community and is slated to bring approximately 3,000 jobs to the region that include 1,500 high-paying, full-time jobs and 1,500 construction and ancillary jobs.
The casino is expected to generate economic development of $15 million in tax revenue for the state and millions more for local governments and attract 1.8 million visitors per year
“We have been waiting for construction to start on this project for over a decade,” said Bob Syzmoniak, Fruitport Community Schools superintendent. “A casino would bring jobs, new residents and economic development to Muskegon. The school district is 100% behind the tribe and this project.”