Industry Reports

Little River Casino Resort Celebrates 20th B-Day amid Second Casino Controversy

Birthday celebrations are an exciting annual event reminiscing over the past year and just how far a given individual or company has come. Little River Casino Resort is a tribal casino resort located in Michigan that recently celebrated its 20th year of operation with a lavish party and tons of excited people.

From its humble beginnings back in 1999 to this day, nothing has been able to defeat the enthusiasm for gaming and hospitality its management has. Tribal gaming is an exciting opportunity for trying something different and exploring diverse gaming offerings in a non-traditional atmosphere that represents the Native American tribe in charge.

The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians has been overseeing the casino resort for the past two decades, solidifying its position in the local gaming field and attracting many new casino patrons to it. This Sunday called for a generous celebration praising their achievements throughout the years.

Tribal Casino Praises Success

The special event offered an excellent opportunity for a social gathering of all people closely associated with the casino resort operation through the years.

Leading figured had the chance to express their thoughts during the event and some of them were Andrew Gentile, General Manager of the casino venue, as well as Bob Guenthardt, previously known as first Ogema of the Native American tribe.

In addition to them Bill Brooks, Michigan attorney, LRBOI Ogema Larry Romanelli, as well as Ron Pete, Tribal council speaker were also there to voice their position and acknowledge the long road behind them. They all praised the relentless work of people at the casino resort over the years and their motivation to go above and beyond for their customers.

Mr. Gentile has not been there at the beginning of this long road, but he showed his appreciation. He pointed out that launching tribal operation back in the days was an achievement on its own which is worthy of appreciation and appraisal at all times. Mr. Guenthardt spoke about the efforts put into the project over the years, something that repeats itself nowadays.

Difficult Times Lie Ahead

He reminded that for the past over a decade, the tribe is willing to build a new casino in Fruitport Township. Little River Casino Resort operates on the tribal Manistee reservation and everything around it is according to the established regulations in the state. The second casino location it plans on building, however, would be located outside its reservation.

This detail is what causes more hassle and delays. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs has to take the pinpointed parcel of land into trust. According to the previously discussed plans, the new location is projected to cost US$180 million and completely transform the Great Lakes Downs Racetrack that is currently permanently closed.

In addition to that, the Gun Lake Tribe, the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, and the Saginaw Chippewa Indians have all filed formal objections to this project. They cite field cannibalization, as their own casino venues are located at a relatively close distance and could potentially suffer from a casino patrons number drop. The three tribes have made it clear that they back rival tribal operation when it is reservation-based.