Vanderbilt Casino Expands, Questions Of Legality Remain

Dec 9, 2010

A small casino that just opened last month in Vanderbilt is already growing. The Gaylord Herald Times reports leaders of the Bay Mills Indian Community are building on to the small facility, even as questions abound over its legality.

Several other Indian nations say it is not legal and that Vanderbilt is not place Bay Mills has any historic claim to. That's a traditional litmus test with off-reservation gaming.

The state has yet to decide whether the casino is legal.

It's no more than a few dozen slot machines and even after expansion, it will be just 2,600 square feet. But it's widely speculated that this is a test case, and that the tribe would like to build in other places, such as Port Huron.

Play the audio above for more on the legal questions, as seen by Matthew Fletcher. He's a member of the Grand Traverse Band and an Indian law expert at the Michigan State University College of Law. He spoke with IPR's Linda Stephan.