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North Dakota Tribe Aims to Win Casino Support

9 November 2004

GRAND FORKS, North Dakota – As reported by the Associated Press: "Leaders of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa plan to spend the next three months trying to persuade residents to support a casino in this city.

"Tribal Chairman Ken Davis said a meeting with the City Council on Monday night was the first step in an attempt to get a city resolution of support.

"Council members say they, too, want to know how much support exists among Grand Forks residents. Councilman Curt Kreun said he already has heard from businesses and nonprofit groups questioning the casino proposal.

"The tribe's projections show a $15 million, 1,000-slot casino could employ 750 people in its first year. Most would be non-Indians, said Bill Johnson, the lead tribal consultant.

"…Tribal officials say casino employees would make about $13 an hour, about $1 more than the average wage in the area. They also project the casino would buy some $30 million worth of goods and services from area businesses and generate up to $75 million in spin-off growth.

"…The next steps for the tribe include getting a resolution of support from the City Council and meeting with area residents and state officials. Over the next two years, the tribe will seek approval from federal and state officials, including the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the governor and the Legislature."

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