Lansing Casino a Big Gamble
The angriest Mayor in American is no longer angry. Instead Lansing
Mayor Virg Bernero is geeked about building a new casino right in the
heart of the capitol city.
And after a lengthy, yet constructive, year of chats with the a
Native American tribe from the U.P., his honor is sitting on a whooping
$250 million investment.
And sitting is where he could stay.
Virg Bernero talks in terms of one to two years. Somebody who has
actually negotiated these kinds of compacts says five years is more
likely and most of that time will not be spent on the construction site
but in the courts.
Moments after the mayor boldly declared, "Lansing will have a
casino. It's only a question of where and when," the press releases
from all of the opponents flooded in.
Leading the charge were the owners of the tribal casinos in Gun
Lake and Battle Creek. In fact they had a barrister in the audience to
gain quick access to the media that was there to cover the Virg.
The good folks in Mt. Pleasant who run the Soaring Eagle are not
eager to have competition in Lansing and they vowed to haul Mr. Benero
and company into the courts to duke it out. And the three casinos in
Detroit will join in.
The federal government also has to sign off.
Lawmakers have a voice in all this and none of them bothered to
show up for the big announcement.
And then there is the governor who has said he's not a big fan of
economic expansion that includes more slot machines and roulette
wheels. Besides the state stands to lose $22 million in cold hard cash
if the Lansing casino is actually built.
"There will be some bumps in the road," confided the tribal chair
in what clearly wins the understatement of the year award.
So all you grannies out there ready to drop your hard earned
nickles into a Lansing slot machine, don't hold your breath.