Little Traverse Band Building Class II Casino

The Mackinaw Village Council did not approve a Class III casino with table games, so the Little Traverse Band of Odawa Indians is proceeding with a 5,000-square-foot Class II casino at a former water park site on Nicolet Street. The tribe plans a May opening of what would be the only Class II casino in Michigan.

After losing a bid for a Class III gaming facility, the Little Traverse Band of Odawa Indians said it’s proceeding with a Class II casino with 64 slots.

The Mackinaw City Village Council on October 16 voted 4-3 against a Class II casino, which would have enabled the tribe to provide table games, including craps, blackjack, and roulette. The Village Council voted against a similar initiative in 2003.

A Class II facility can offer bingo, slots, pull tabs, and non-banked gamed among players, such as poker.

The proposed casino is a key part of the tribe’s five-year economic development plan, which includes plans for a 130-room hotel for the Little Traverse Band.

The tribe started work on the proposed casino in June at the former Thunder Falls Water Park site on Nicolet Street.

If the Village Council had approved a Class II facility, it would have received up to 2 percent of the tribe’s revenues from electronic games, but the tribe can proceed with the Class II facility, which would be the state’s only Class II casino, without the council’s approval.

The Little Traverse Band plans to break ground on the 5,000-square-foot casino in November and open is six months later in May.