LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Jon Bumstead on Wednesday urged Governor Gretchen Whitmer to move forward with the approval of the proposed casino in Muskegon County despite recent opposition from Detroit and Wayne County.
“I’m very disappointed with the Detroit City Council and the Wayne County Board of Commissioners’ decision to get involved and pass resolutions opposing a casino that is 200 miles across the state,” said Bumstead, R-Newaygo. “Muskegon County is not included in the defined competitive market area of any of three tribal casinos within a two-hour drive, so there is no logical reason why Detroit and Wayne County would be opposed to a casino in our community.”
The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians have been working for more than a decade to build a $180 million casino in Fruitport Township. In late 2020, the U.S. Department of Interior granted the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians casino project its approval to acquire off-reservation land.
“The proposed casino has wide-ranging bipartisan support from the Muskegon County community, and it would be an extreme disappointment if this project does not move forward, especially for our residents that have waited patiently for more than ten years,” said Bumstead. “The casino would be a boon for our area, and if completed, it would add 1500 full-time and 1500 construction jobs and generate enormous economic activity in Muskegon County.”
After receiving final approval from the federal government, the project must receive concurrence from Governor Whitmer. If the governor approves, then the casino project would head to the Michigan House and Senate for additional consideration.
“I urge the governor to consider the economic impact of the proposed casino, and side with the people of Muskegon County, not with the special interests of casinos in Detroit.” Bumstead said. “The fate of the Muskegon Casino, and hundreds of full-time jobs, lies in the hands of our governor. I encourage her to do the right thing for the people of Muskegon County and approve the proposal.”
“The people of Michigan have a strong history of supporting Detroit and Wayne county with hundreds of millions of their tax dollars to bring the city back from bankruptcy and other issues,” said Bumstead. “The City of Detroit and Wayne County should not be trying to deny the people of Muskegon County good paying jobs and economic investment because they don’t want their casinos to compete with one in West Michigan.”