A written statement from Bay Mills Chair Kurt Perron says the tribe ultimately plans legal victory, and to move forward with its “planned developments.” The tribe did not immediate elaborate on the statement’s meaning.
If Bay Mills is ultimately victorious, the tribe would likely be allowed to build casinos anywhere it wants, without state approval, as long as it buys the land with a specific pool of funds.
“Probably the biggest implication (of today’s ruling) in the long run is just to highlight exactly how difficult it is to shut down a casino opened by an Indian tribe under these circumstances,” says Matthew Fletcher, of MSU’s Indigenous Law Center.
The Vanderbilt Casino is widely regarded as a test site for its Upper Peninsula owner. The tribe has expressed interest in building in Port Huron, and perhaps elsewhere.
It’s not clear what implications this case might have for another Upper Peninsula tribe’s plans to build a casino in downtown Lansing.