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Issue 1207 April 10, 2011
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Plan to Add 7 More Casinos in Michigan May be Headed to 2012 Ballot

April 1, 2011       Leave a Comment
By: Dave Rogers

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Casinos would be added under the plan in Benton Harbor, Lansing, Mount Clemens, Grand Rapids, Romulus, Detroit and Saginaw.
 

The Michigan Is Yours proposal for seven additional non-Native, privately owned casinos in Michigan has returned in an effort to make the 2012 ballot.

Casinos would be added under the plan in Benton Harbor, Lansing, Mount Clemens, Grand Rapids, Romulus, Detroit and Saginaw.

"The Michigan Is Yours Ballot Proposition is a positive plan for Michigan," said William Thompson, a University of Nevada at Las Vegas professor. "Michigan already has casinos; it is time that they are effectively used to build the economy."

Casinos would pay a 19 percent tax under the proposal, providing funds to restore the Michigan Promise Grant and the Pure Michigan campaign. Local governments hosting the casinos the School Aid Fund also would benefit.

All seven of the casinos would be owned by C-My-Casinos Incorporated, the Warren-based company started by Frank Stella, who has died since he originally promoted the proposal. Business owner J. Michael McKay is the interim chair of the effort.

Casino backers say they are better organized since the failed 2010 effort, and will use the Internet to gather the required 320,000 signatures.

Under the proposal, C-My Casino would select casino developers, according to Michael Greiner, a lawyer of Warren, MI, is C-My Casino. Another organizer reportedly associated with Michigan Is Yours is David Tomby previous advocate of Xanadu, a major entertainment complex at the Detroit airport.

The official language of the proposal is as follows:

A proposal to amend the Constitution of the State of Michigan, by adding a new Article IX, Section 43, as follows:

(1) It shall be lawful for C-My-Casino lnc.'s assignees or designated developers to conduct casino gaming and enact laws as provide in this section without further vote of the People, notwithstanding any other provision of this constitution or any other law or regulation of the State.

(2) This section authorizes casino gaming at no more than seven casinos subject to the following requirements:

(a) the seven casinos authorized by a state license shall be in addition to three Detroit casinos.

(b) the seven casinos authorized by state license shall be located in Grand Rapids, Lansing, Detroit, Romulus, Benton Harbor, Saginaw, and Mount Clemens.

(3) All casinos authorized under this section shall pay a wagering tax on their adjusted gross receipts in an amount not to exceed 19%. "Adjusted gross receipts" as used in this section shall be defined by law. The revenue generated by this wagering tax shall be paid by each casino authorized under this act as follows:

(a) 20% of the tax revenue shall be paid directly to the state for the purpose of fully funding the Pure Michigan National Advertising Campaign. (b) 38% of the tax revenue shall be paid directly to the state for the purpose of fully funding the Promise Grant program.

(c) 20% of the tax shall be paid directly to the local units of government where the casinos are located.

(d) 7% of the tax revenue shall be paid directly to the County units of government where the casino is located.

(e) the remainder of the tax revenue shall be paid directly to the state for deposit in the State School Aid Fund.

(4) No other taxes, fees, assessments or costs of any kind related to gaming or wagering shall be imposed on a casino subject to the wagering tax in subsection (3). Subsection (3) shall not preclude other taxes, fees, assessments or costs unrelated to gaming or wagering at casinos subject to the wagering tax in this section. Subsection (3) shall not preclude a reasonable fee for a license to operate a casino, nor preclude imposing fines or penalties for conduct prohibited by law or regulation.

(5) The same laws and regulations shall apply to all casinos located in the state subject to state and local laws, codes and regulations, except as provided in this section. A casino authorized under this section shall be subject to the exclusive regulatory jurisdiction of the Michigan Gaming Control Board, or any successor official or agency. Upon adoption of this section, the Michigan Gaming Control Board or any successor official or agency shall promulgate rules and take other actions consistent with its statutory authority necessary to license these additional casinos and otherwise carry out the requirements of this section. This section shall not apply to Native American tribal gaming.

(6) The purpose of this Section is to promote the economic development of the State. The Legislature shall enact laws furthering this purpose and implementing this section. If any provision of this section is found unenforceable by a court, this section shall be implemented to the maximum extent possible with each provision severable from every other provision.

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Dave Rogers

Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at carraroe@aol.com)

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