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Sault Ste. Marie Aims for Detroit Area Casino Again

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The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians may take another stab at running a casino near Detroit, reported Crain's Detroit Business.

Tribal Chairman Darwin “Joe” McCoy referenced a potential casino deal called the "Romulus Project," according to an article in the January tribal newsletter Win Awenen Nisitotung, available for download.

"At no financial cost to the Sault Tribe, the board of directors is working with a group of developers to seek the necessary approvals to place a casino in the Downriver Detroit suburb of Romulus," McCoy stated in his article. "Outside developers would pay all up front costs and in return receive 14 percent of gross revenues the first seven years of operation, after which the casino would belong solely to the tribe."

On Jan. 7, the Sault Tribe Election Committee will mail two referenda ballots, dealing with recent resolutions made by the Sault Tribe Board of Directors, to every eligible Sault Tribe member. The referendum seeks a repeal of the "Pursuit of Settlement of a Land Claim with Respect to Property in the Romulus, Michigan Metropolitan Area,” approved Nov. 9. Completed ballots are due back Jan. 27, the article states.

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While "tribal leadership considers the chance of success to be slim," they will pursue development at no risk to the tribe, the article states. The project "would settle the tribe’s Charlotte Beach land claims settlement, which dates back to the mid-1800s, by exchanging trust land in Romulus for the tribe’s claim to land in Charlotte Beach."