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Michigan's 12 tribes made over $30.5 million in 2019 distribution payments

15 October 2020

(PRESS RELEASE) -- Michigan’s 12 federally recognized tribes made $30.5 million in distribution payments to local units of government and schools from casino gaming revenue during fiscal year 2019, according to a report published by the Michigan Gaming Control Board. Overall, revenue sharing was up 1.1 percent from 2018, which indicates year-over-year growth in the tribes’ net win from slot machines. All tribes ended FY 2019 before the impacts of COVID-19.

The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe provided the largest overall distribution payments at $6.1 million. The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi Indians made the second-largest total distribution of $5.9 million. For the third-largest overall payment, the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians distributed $5.7 million.

Allegan County’s Wayland Township received the largest single local government unit distribution payment — $1 million — from the Gun Lake Tribe, which also sent an $892,000 payment to Allegan County. The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians distributed $1.4 million in payments to New Buffalo Township and Berrien County. From the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, the city of Mount Pleasant, Arenac County and Isabella County accepted a combined $2.2 million in distribution payments.

Largest Distributions to Local Government Units in FY2019

Tribe/County/Local Gov’t Unit/Amount

Gun Lake Tribe/Wayland Township/$1 million

Gun Lake Tribe/Allegan County/$891,614

Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians/New Buffalo Township/$803,811

Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians/Berrien County/$605,607

Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe/City of Mount Pleasant/$825,648

Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indians/Emmett Charter Township/$780,109

Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe/Arenac County/$721,064

Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe/Isabella County/$637,306

Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indians/Calhoun County Administration/$495,477

Little River Band of Ottawa Indians/Manistee County/$431,121

During fiscal year 2019, school districts in the Lower Peninsula received some of the largest distributions from tribes. Two tribes—the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indians and the Gun Lake Tribe—distributed more than $2 million each to local school districts in Calhoun and Allegan counties, and school districts in Berrien and Van Buren counties received nearly $2 million from the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. In central Michigan, the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe distributed a total of more than $1.4 million to three Isabella County school districts.

Largest Distributions to School Districts in FY2019

Tribe/School District/Amount

Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indians/Harper Creek Community Schools/$2.3 million

Gun Lake Tribe/Wayland Union Schools/$2.1 million

Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians/New Buffalo Public Schools/$1.6 million

Little River Band of Ottawa Indians/Manistee Area Public Schools/$841,409

Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe/Mount Pleasant Public Schools/$703,139

Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indians/Calhoun Intermediate School District/$571,745

Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe/Shepherd Public Schools/$495,792

Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians/Petoskey Public Schools/$479,594

Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians/Hartford Public Schools/$344,117

Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe/Beal City Schools/$252,226

The report, Receipts and Distribution of Indian Casino Revenue by Local Revenue Sharing Boards, includes revenue sharing distributions for each tribe to the local communities. As required by Section 973(6) of Public Act 56 of 2019, the MGCB prepares the report annually.

Tribal gaming compacts with the state of Michigan and associated federal court consent judgments require payments to local governments or revenue sharing boards. The revenue sharing amount equals 2 percent of the tribal casinos’ net win from slot machines.

Data was provided by the tribes and the seven local revenue sharing boards in Allegan, Berrien, Calhoun, Cass, Emmet, Manistee and Van Buren counties. The tribes follow different fiscal calendars and payment periods.

The tribes are:

•Bay Mills Indian Community

•Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians

•Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians (Gun Lake Tribe)

•Hannahville Indian Community

•Keweenaw Bay Indian Community

•Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians

•Little River Band of Ottawa Indians

•Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians

•Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi Indians

•Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians

•Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe

•Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians

From 1994 through 2019, Indian tribes operating casinos in Michigan have made total payments of $527.8 million to local units of government.

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