Michigan tribal group makes waves over online lottery decision

News on 18 Aug 2015

The Gun Lake tribe in Michigan is showing its displeasure at a state decision to take lottery operations online by withholding $7 million in annual revenue payments from its Gun Lake Casino, an operation managed by the Station Casinos group.

The tribe has justified the withholding by arguing that the decision violates its 2007 agreement on gambling with the state.

The Michigan state lottery took ticket sales and scratch card games online late last year anticipating a boost to sales of almost half a million dollars in the initial eight years of internet operations.

The tribe claims that the subject of internet lottery activity was aired in the 2007 negotiations, and that it was agreed that such a move would breach the agreement within the tribe’s market area.

Tribal spokesmen have pointed to clauses in the agreement which allow the tribe to reduce its annual payments to the state by half if the state lottery operates Electronic Games of Chance.

The state governor and tribal representatives have held a meeting to resolve the issue, which was apparently “productive” but inconclusive.

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