MICHIGAN -- As reported by the Kalamazoo Gazette: "After years of planning and exhaustive legal challenges, one Native American casino is about to open and two more proposed for southwestern Michigan
Artist's rendering of the new Pokagon Four Winds Casino. are close to approval.
"The three casinos -- in New Buffalo, Battle Creek and Wayland -- all would be within about an hour's drive of Kalamazoo.
"Set to open in early August is the first phase of the $400 million Four Winds Casino Resort in New Buffalo Township, a 70-mile trip down I-94 from Kalamazoo. John Miller, tribal chairman of the Dowagiac-based Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, said the 130,000-square-foot casino is nearly complete and will feature more than 100 gaming tables and 3,000 slot machines. The second phase will include a hotel and special-events center.
"Meanwhile, both the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indians in Battle Creek and the Gun Lake Tribe of Pottawatomi Indians in Wayland hope to soon win final court battles and break ground for casinos yet this year or next.
"The federal government has agreed to take Gun Lake and Huron tribal lands into trust, which would make each tribe a sovereign nation and create reservations on which they could build facilities for Las Vegas-style gaming. A pair of anti-gambling groups have filed last-ditch challenges that are expected to be resolved shortly, said Tom Shields, a spokesman for the Gun Lake Tribe. Other than taking their appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court, the anti-casino groups will have exhausted their appeals, he said..."
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