Legal fight in Duluth shows gambling expansion would be high-stakes game - Bring Me The News

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.
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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.

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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.

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.

Will Minnesota lawmakers go after gambling revenue?

Minnesota's 18 Indian casinos bring in an estimated $15 billion a year. Part of this revenue could help finance a new Vikings stadium, but it's still unclear if the Governor and GOP leaders will consider expanding casino gambling to an off-reservation site. The Star Tribune reports tribal leaders and a battalion of lobbyists are preparing for a potentially fierce battle at the State Capitol.

White Earth band schedules press conference on 'stadium funding'

Minnesota Public Radio reports another player is making a move in the stadium game. A flyer says the band wants to build a casino in the Twin Cities metro and split the take 50-50 with the state of Minnesota. The White Earth tribe appeared in December before a Senate hearing to pitch a casino plan.

Duluth mayor threatens to close casino over revenue fight

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.

Future of Duluth's Carter Hotel awaits federal ruling

The Bureau of Indian Affairs is seeking comment on a plan to raze the historic Carter Hotel, the Duluth News Tribune reports. The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa bought the property in December 2010 and wants to tear it down. The city of Duluth has suggested several ways to reuse the 83-year-old building, but the tribe claims it is "in an extraordinary state of disrepair."

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."

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.