The Sault Tribe Board of Directors is committed to providing tribal members with complete and accurate information about the Tribe’s proposed Kewadin Lansing casino.
The Tribe has spent virtually no money on the Lansing casino project. The developer, Lansing Future, has a pre-development budget of $5 million and a temporary casino budget of $5 million, none of which is the Tribe’s money. The developer is using those funds to cover all upfront costs. The specific details are contained in a Turnkey Development Agreement between the Sault Tribe and the developer. This agreement can be found on this blog. In general, the developer has agreed to provide funds for all costs and predevelopment expenses. This includes any legal fees incurred by the Tribe, as well as costs associated with establishing our legal right to conduct gaming and building and opening the temporary casino (travel, meetings with membership etc). Assuming we are successful in establishing our legal right to conduct gaming, the developer will assist the Tribe in obtaining financing for the permanent casino.
Why is the developer covering all upfront costs? Because the Tribe will pay the developer a fee equal to 14% of operating profits (after payment of expenses) for the first seven years the casino is open. After seven years, the developer will no longer be involved in the casino. We are estimating our operating profit to be $115 million a year, based on total revenues of $275 million. In addition, the Tribe would be responsible for repaying the developer up to $10 million to cover the initial legal and start-up costs, but only if the casino opens. Bottom line: The Tribe would have no chance to open a casino in Lansing without the developer covering all upfront costs.
The Tribe needs the additional revenue Lansing will provide!
Please get the facts before you vote – visit our website at saultribe.com and click on the red “Lansing Facts” button or talk with your unit representative. Vote YES on the Lansing Casino Referendum!