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Opponents plan to pack Lansing casino public hearing tonight

An artist's rendering of the proposed Kewadin Lansing casino
(courtesy of the Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians)
An artist's rendering of the proposed Kewadin Lansing casino

 A public hearing tonight in Lansing is expected to draw a large crowd of opponents to a casino in in the city’s downtown.

The Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians wants to build a new casino next to Lansing’s downtown convention center.

Supporters say the casino would bring much needed jobs to the capitol city, boost the city’s convention business and provide funding for a college scholarship program for Lansing school children.

But opponents say the costs are too high.

Ted Wilson co-founded StopLansingCasino.comto organize opposition to the casino.     He says a casino will siphon off hundreds of millions of dollars from the Lansing economy, hurt local businesses and lead to an increase in crime. 

Wilson says that will  "effectively nullify the jobs the casino development team claim they are going to create.”

The Lansing city council is scheduled to vote on the casino project later this month.     The Sault Ste Marie Tribe will hold a tribal referendum on the plan later this Spring.  Casino opponents want the city of Lansing to also hold a referendum. 

Tonight's Lansing city council meeting starts at 7pm.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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