Michigan Residents to Vote on Casino, Racetrack

By Associated Press

Proposals for building a racetrack and a casino will go before city residents of Romulus, Mich., for a vote in December.

The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of the Chippewa Indians wants to build a $350 million casino in this Detroit suburb. It would have a conference center and resort with 2,500 slot machines and more than 90 table games.

In a special election on Dec. 2, residents will be asked to vote on that issue and on whether they want to allow horse racing in their community. The Thoroughbred racetrack is being proposed by Magna Entertainment.

The initial plan calls for the $100 million track first. If demand warrants, a 675,000-square-foot retail and entertainment complex would be built later.

"The taxpayers need to tell us which way they want to move on this project," Councilman Bill Wadsworth told The Detroit News for a story Monday.

"If they say no, it's a dead issue."

Under a last-minute agreement with former Gov. John Engler, the Upper Peninsula tribe, which owns Detroit's Greektown Casino, is permitted to open another casino.

The tribe also is eyeing sites in Monroe County and Flint for the casino.

Romulus officials say the two ventures could mean combined annual tax revenues of between $7 million and $13 million.