|January 13, 2002. Tina Lam, staff writer, The Detroit Free Press, reports that after the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled, by a 2 to 1 majority on January 11, that Detroit's casino ordinance was unconstitutional, the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians asked the State of Illinois to shut down all three Detroit casinos affected by the ruling. |
The federal court found that the Detroit ordinance was illegitimate because it established preferences for licenses for only two groups of owners, neither of which is the tribe.
Michigan's smallest Indian tribe numbers just 487, and this is the latest round in the courts which they have won in a five year battle with the established Detroit casino industry.
The three casinos in question employ around 8,000 people.
Conly Shulte, an attorney for the tribe, said, 'With the preference, the ordinance is fatally unfair and the casino licenses Detroit has issued to date are illegitimate ... The federal court has plainly said they are illegal. We believe the board has a duty to revoke their licenses and shut the doors.'
The Michigan Gaming Control Board said it is considering the ruling, but has no immediate plans to take action.
The City of Detroit has until January 25 to file a request with the full Court of Appeals to reconsider the ruling. Detroit also has about three months to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case.