Tribal Organization: Bay Mills Indian Community
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The Bay Mills Indian Community opened their casino in Vanderbilt on November 3, 2010. A court order from a federal judge in March 2011 ruled the casino opened without state approval and must be closed. In August 2012 that court decision was reversed by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.
Finally in May 2013 the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Circuit Court ruling and decided in favor of the tribal sovereign immunity rights. However, the casino was not reopen and has remained closed.
In November 2016 Bay Mills Indian Community officials said they planned to reopen the Vanderbilt casino but have not announced an opening date.
The Vanderbilt casino is located off I-75 about 10 miles north of Gaylord.
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August 23, 2018
The Bay Mills Vanderbilt casino may reopen after the completion of the current legal battle that has kept the casino closed.
In 2010 the casino opened. When the Michigan Attorney General's office questioned the legality of the land transaction, the casino was quickly closed.
The impact on the local businesses were beneficial when the casino was open. The casino traffic helped to bring visitors into the nearby restaurants and gas stations.
An announcement was made by the Bay Mills Indian Community that the court could be ruling soon.
The lawsuit is over where the casino is located. The tribe purchased the property located in Vanderbilt. The legal issue is whether or not the funding was paid for under the Michigan Indian Land Claims Settlement Act.
The Bay Mills Indian Community owns 50 acres that is zoned for commercial use. This is where the casino building is located. The Bay Mills tribe also owns the nearly 20 acres next to the commercial property. That land is zoned for residential use.
If the ruling from the court is in favor of the Bay Mills Indian Community, the casino still will not be able to reopen. A ruling made in favor of the tribe would move the lawsuit to a trial. The trial would then determine if the purchase was in compliance under the Michigan Indian Land Claims Settlement Act.
The hearing took place on Tuesday and took close to 40 minutes. However, a decision was not determined at this time. In the next few weeks it is expected that the official decision again.
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