States around the country are working hard to update their casino industries. Michigan, which is home to many Native American tribal casinos, is looking at plans to earn more revenue from its gambling market. This week, the Gun Lake Tribe officially got started on its $100 million Michigan casino expansion project.
It’s exciting news for gambling fans in the Western Michigan area. Today, we’re going to take a quick look at Michigan’s gambling industry. We’ll also talk about what the Gun Lake Tribe has planned for its casino. Let’s get started!
Michigan’s Casino Industry in a Nutshell
Michigan isn’t typically thought of as a US gambling hub, but perhaps it should be. There are a huge number of gambling venues in this state, many of which are full-blown casino-resorts. It’s clear that lawmakers are investing in this industry and want to earn as much money in taxes as possible.
In the 1980s, state officials began allowing Native American tribes to start operating limited gambling venues. At first, these “casinos” could only offer players games such as Keno and bingo. In 1996, lawmakers decided it was time to legalize full-scale casino gambling.
Michigan officially decided to make commercial casinos legal that year. Plans were approved to allow three casinos in downtown Detroit. In 1999, the first of these casinos opened its doors to the public.
As we’ve already mentioned, there are now many incredible casino gambling establishments in this state. The Gun Lake Tribe has been discussing plans to expand its casino for years. Now, this expansion project is officially underway.
Gun Lake Tribe’s $100 Michigan Casino Expansion Begins
The Gun Lake Casino in Wayland, MI, is an extremely popular venue for gamblers in the western area of the state. Unfortunately, it’s become a little outdated over the years. An increase in nearby competition has also contributed to the casino generating less revenue.
This week, officials within the Gun Lake Tribe confirmed that their $100 million Michigan casino expansion is officially underway. According to the tribe, it will add about 76,000 square feet of gaming space to the casino floor. More than 2,000 slot machines, 47 table games, and a high-limit room are also being added.
Tribal Chairman Bob Peters commented on the new plans to the media this weekend.
“We are proud of the effort of our team members that has driven the continued success of Gun Lake Casino and our Tribe’s contributions to Michigan’s economy in the last eight years,” he said. “These expansion plans allow us to build on these efforts and provide even more employment opportunities and increased economic impact in our local communities.”
This expansion will also double the size of the casino’s entertainment area. Hope is that it helps to bring in better shows to the venue.
Michigan Lawmakers Still Hesitant to Embrace Sports Betting
When PASPA was struck down in May of 2018, many analysts predicted that Michigan would be one of the first states to legalize this form of gambling. Sports betting legislation was introduced here, yet it’s failed to be formally enacted.
The proposed bill would allow any holder of a casino license to “accept wagers on sporting events.” The state’s gaming board would be required to regulate this industry. The bill was briefly approved by the state’s legislature, yet Governor Gretchen Whitmer vetoed it.
It still seems likely that sports gambling will be made legal here at some point. Many of the states with legal sports betting markets are earning millions of dollars a month from this industry. As a state with so many legal casino gambling options, it would make no sense to continue prohibiting sports betting.
There’s also a chance that online casino gambling will become regulated here in the future. At the moment, there are a huge number of online casinos in MI that are available. Lawmakers attempted to regulate this industry earlier this year, yet once again, Governor Whitmer shut these plans down.
The new Michigan casino expansion is underway. We’ll need to wait and see how effective it is as drawing in more gamblers for the Gun Lake Tribe.
Stay tuned for more Michigan casino news over the next few months!