A federal judge ruled the Fond-du-Lac Ojibwe Band no longer needs to share revenue from its casino with the city. The city has appealed the decision and now is apparently threatening to shut down the casino if the ruling stands. Mayor Don Ness tells Minnesota Public Radio the casino can't operate without the city's written consent.
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Judge rules tribe doesn't have to share casino revenue with city of Duluth
Two years ago the Fond du Lac tribe stopped sharing casino revenue with the city of Duluth, arguing their contract violated the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. That prompted the city to sue, and on Monday a district court judge ruled in the tribe's favor. The ruling will likely mean millions of dollars more in annual revenue for the tribe, and that much less for the city of Duluth.
Duluth mayor wants to find compromise in messy downtown casino issue
Duluth Mayor Don Ness says he still wants to find agreement with the Fond du Lac band so both sides benefit from the tribe's downtown casino. The city received a letter from the U.S. Dept. of the Interior giving a 10-day deadline for the city to explain why the casino lease shouldn't be voided. The city and the tribe are locked in a revenue sharing legal dispute.
Interior Department cancels Duluth's casino contract
The agreement with the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa provided the city with 19 percent of all revenue from electronic gaming. An ongoing legal fight began when the tribe stopped making payments in 2009. The Duluth News Tribune reports federal authorities have deemed portions of the contract invalid. Mayor Don Ness says the Interior Department is "using the power of the federal government to be an advocate for the band at the expense of the citizens of Duluth."
Legal fight in Duluth shows gambling expansion would be high-stakes game
The mayor of Duluth tells the Star Tribune the city is in serious financial trouble after the federal government sided with the Fond du Lac band in a legal tussle over casino revenue. The newspaper says some of the proposals to expand gambling in Minnesota could put the state on a similar collision course with tribes, which fear state gambling would cut into revenue that they say has helped alleviate crushing poverty on reservations.
Fond du Lac band and city of Duluth file appeals in casino profit-sharing ruling
Both sides are filing appeals after a judge declared that the band does not need to share profits from its Fond-du-Luth casino with the city of Duluth. But the band, which declared victory in the case, wants to reverse a decision that would still require it to pay $14 million in back payments to the city. The band stopped making the payments in 2009, which sparked the legal battle.
Lack of gambling inspections at Minnesota's Indian casinos
The largest casinos in the state are operating with little to no government oversight. The Star Tribune reports it has been at least four years since slot machines were inspected at Mystic Lake Casino in Shakopee, Grand Casino Hinckley and Grand Casino Mille Lacs. The Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement division of the DPS told the paper budget constraints have reduced the number of inspections by its three full-time agents. The executive director of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association says all casinos in the state are also regulated by the tribal governments.
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