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Sheen Proposes Toll Fee for Lansing

On August 8th, 2007, if Rep. Fulton Sheen's plan is approved commuters and visitors will have to pay a toll fee to get to the casino in Wayland and other locations in the area.

Sheen tried to impose a $10 dollars toll fee if the gaming compacts are approved by the House. The legislators did not change the gambling compact so he will try to find another way.

Sheen wants the legislators to pass the idea as a separate bill and he thinks that it would not be complicated. Twenty of Michigan's twenty three casinos have stopped paying profits to the state when Michigan violated the gaming compact.

Sheen said that the collector would require visitors to pay $10 dollars before they enter Indian sovereign land. It is hard to tell if the legislators and Gov. Jennifer Granholm will approve the $10 dollars proposed toll fee.

The Gun Lake casino gambling compact, which allows Las Vegas style gaming, passed the house in a 63-41 vote. West Michigan legislators are divided over the issue. About half of the house voted against the gambling compact but six representatives failed to show for the decision.

Tribal spokesman James Nye said that they are not worried about the toll proposal. The critics have said a lot of things they want to impose but it did not push through. The tribe is sure that the casino will open to the public soon.

They expect the court to decide on the land trust issue this coming fall. Though it is still not sure whether the Senate will pass the gaming compact, the tribe will not stop the construction of the casino.

If the court approves the land trust, the construction will begin immediately. The casino is expected to open by 2008. Under the gambling compact, Michigan will receive 8 to 12 percent of the profits of the casino.

2 percent will go to the local government. However if a non tribal casino opened within the nine counties near the tribal casino, the tribe will stop its payment to Michigan.


11 September 2007
News Submitted by:
Lauren Desmond

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