Just days after plans were presented to Mackinaw City officials, the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians are hoping to break ground on their new casino. The tribe would like to begin breaking ground on the new facility by November and then be completed with the first phase by the month of May. The structure would initially be 56,000 square feet in size and have 64 gaming machines.
The Odawa Casino Resort, is also owned by the tribe and is located just 37 miles away in Petoskey. The General Manager of the property, Eric McLester, stated that the casino wants to be good neighbors and wants to be a property that fits in with the community.
According to McLester, the tribe does not have to have the approval of the Mackinaw City Village if they only provide Class II gaming at the site. The tribe is not required to share gaming revenues with the community in that gaming tier. If the tribe were to offer Class III games, the village would have to give their approval due to the Class III gaming compact. This type of agreement will require that 2% of the revenues go to the community. A meeting this Thursday is set to discuss these issues.