Appeals Court Rules Against Detroit Casino License Procedure

The attorney for a small Indian tribe in Michigan is calling for the closure of Detroit's three casinos following a federal Appeals Court ruling that the licenses are "illegitimate."

However, according to the Detroit News, state gaming regulators have no plans to shutter the casinos as they review the Jan. 11 decision from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Ohio.

"The federal court has plainly said they are illegal," Conly Schulte, an attorney for the 487-member Lac Vieux Desert Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, told t he Free Press. "We believe the board has a duty to revoke their licenses and shut the doors."

The appeals court ruled 2-1 that the city's casino ordinance was unconstitutional because it granted preferences for licenses to two groups of owners, the Free Press reported. "With the preferences, the ordinance is fatally unfair and the casino licenses Detroit has issued to date are illegitimate," the judges ruled.

"We're not going to do anything until we have carefully considered the ruling and what, if anything, it requires us to do," Michigan Gaming Control Board executive director Nelson Westrin said.

Morley Witus, an attorney for Detroit, told the newspaper The city has 14 days in which to ask the full Court of Appeals to reconsider the ruling and about three months to request the U. S. Supreme Court to hear the case.