The Gun Lake Tribe today announced that fall revenue sharing payments to local municipalities totaled $2,117,954, an increase of 24 percent over last spring.
The State of Michigan received $4,731,126 and GLIMI, an economic development entity, received $1,419,338. The figures are calculated from electronic gaming revenues reported from April 1 to Sept. 30 this year.
“This is a very special distribution because of the significant increase in revenues due to the expansion, and because we have surpassed the $100 million milestone,” said Scott Sprague, chairman of the Gun Lake Tribe. “The tribe’s reinvestment of $76 million into the casino expansion has paid off for tribal citizens, our team members and the community.”
The tribe celebrated the milestone revenue sharing payment at the Gun Lake Casino in ceremony this morning. The Tribal Council was joined by members of the Local Revenue Sharing Board, including Wayland Township Supervisor Roger VanVolkinburg. Allegan County Sheriff Frank Baker joined the group to highlight the Tribe’s separate monetary donation to help purchase two K-9s.
The fall 2017 revenue sharing payment is 24% greater than the spring payment, and 19% more than the fall 2016 payment. This is the first payment to follow the May 3 opening of the casino expansion, which doubled the size of the facility to increase electronic gaming machines by more than 30% in number. The expansion opened one month into this six-month revenue sharing distribution period.
The tribe and State of Michigan executed a gaming compact in 2007 in which the tribe agreed to share a percentage of electronic gaming revenues with the state and local governments. Revenue sharing payments are distributed semi-annually under terms of the compact. In July 2016, the Tribe and State announced a Partial Settlement Agreement to resolve an interpretation of the compact.
The agreement directed a portion of Gun Lake Casino state revenue sharing payments to GLIMI, which is overseen by the state, and the tribe’s economic development corporation, Gun Lake Investments. GLIMI was formed to pursue non-gaming economic development and job creation. Noonday Market, a fuel and convenience store located next to the casino, was the first such project.
The state revenue sharing payments depend on the continued preservation of exclusive gaming rights within the tribe’s competitive market area, as defined by the gaming compact, which also includes statewide expansion of certain lottery games. The market area includes the cities of Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Lansing, as well as the entire counties of Kent, Kalamazoo and Ingham, among others.
Gun Lake Casino opened in February 2011 and now employs more than 1,000 team members. The Gun Lake Tribe has now shared $101,636,676 with state and local governments over 14 distributions.
The Local Revenue Sharing Board receives and administers the semi-annual payments. The gaming compact prescribes mandatory funding to local municipalities for: costs incurred due to the operation of the casino; public safety services; and replacement of tax revenue. The board established by-laws to govern the distribution process. The local payments are made under terms of the gaming compact independent of gaming exclusivity.