Michigan’s 12 federally recognized tribes contributed $30.5 million in casino gaming revenue to local government and schools in 2019, according to a report published by the Michigan Gaming Control Board.
Overall revenue sharing was up in 2019 for the dozen Michigan tribes. The casinos reported 1.1% revenue growth compared to 2018, and together the tribes made $30.5 million in distribution payments to local units of government and schools from casino gaming revenue.
Tribal gaming compacts within Michigan and associated federal court consent judgements require payments to local governments or revenue sharing boards. The revenue sharing amount equals 2% of the casinos’ net win from slot machines.
The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe had the largest overall distribution payments at $6.1 million, with the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi Indians second at $5.9 million and the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians third with $5.7 million.
The Gun Lake Tribe sent government unit distribution payments of $1 million and $892,000, giving Allegan County’s Wayland Township the largest single local government unit payment. The Pokagon Band 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 received a combined $2.2 million in distribution payments.
Throughout the 2019 fiscal year, school districts in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan received some of the largest distributions from tribes. The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indians and the Gun Lake Tribe each distributed more than $2 million to local school districts in Calhoun and Allegan counties. School districts in Berrien and Van Buren counties received nearly $2 million from the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians.
In the central area of the state, the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe contributed more than $1.4 million to the three Isabella County school districts.
The Receipts and Distribution of Indian Casino Revenue by Local Revenue Sharing Boards includes revenue sharing distributions for each of the tribes to the local communities. The MGCB prepares the report annually, as required by Section 973 (6) of Public Act 56 of 2019.
From 1994 through 2019, Indian tribes operating casinos in Michigan have made total payments of $527.8 million to local units of government.