Sault Tribe to appeal over casino development ruling

The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians announced Tuesday, Jan. 17 that it will seek relief from a Jan. 3, 2023, ruling from Ingham County Judge Joyce Draganchuk that would award $88 million in damages to the developers of the proposed casinos in Lansing and Romulus.

The Tribe’s gaming arm, Kewadin Casinos Gaming Authority, had partnered with the developers to construct the casinos. Plans for the two casinos have stalled due to unsuccessful attempts to gain approval from the U.S. Department of the Interior to bring the proposed casino land into trust, which is required to operate casinos outside of a tribe’s reservation.

“The Sault Tribe is deeply concerned with what it has discovered in reading the Court’s opinion,” said Sault Tribe Chairman Austin Lowes. “Our board has met with our legal counsel and is hopeful a new direction will lead to a better outcome.”

The Tribe’s next legal steps will be to Motion for Relief from the Judgment in front of Draganchuk, and further to appeal to the Michigan Court of Appeals if that is necessary. The Tribe will be represented by Daniel V. Barnett of Grewal Law PLLC for the remainder of this case after terminating its relationship with the Patterson Law Firm.