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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

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Federal appeals court overturns ruling, allows Lansing casino to proceed

The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians will move forward with their plan to build a casino in downtown Lansing, after a federal court of appeals ruled a lower court did not have the necessary jurisdiction to stop the project.

A Grand Rapids federal court previously granted the state an injunction to halt the project to build an 125,000-square-foot casino called Kewadin Lansing. The project will cost an estimated $245 million and could potentially bring an estimated 2,200 jobs to the area.

The appellate panel overturned the federal circuit court’s ruling in large part because the state’s arguments were based on events that had not yet occurred, meaning “the injunction was therefore not properly entered.”

Lansing mayor Virg Bernero said in a statement that his administration was “deeply gratified” about the ruling and they remain “fully committed” to the project, but acknowledged this will likely not be the last battle the casino faces in its development.

“Undoubtedly there will be additional legal hurdles to overcome in the months and perhaps years ahead, but we are in this battle for the long run and remain optimistic that we will succeed,” Bernero said in a statement.

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