Indian tribe set to defend Michigan casino opening

LANSING (AP) -- The Bay Mills Indian Community says it's prepared to defend itself in federal court against lawsuits seeking to close down its casino in Michigan's northern Lower Peninsula.

Tribal chairman Jeff Parker says in a statement Wednesday the tribe is confident in its legal position for the casino it opened in November in Vanderbilt.

The Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians filed suit Wednesday to try and force the closing of the casino with roughly 40 slot machines. The Michigan attorney general's office sued Tuesday in an effort to shut down the casino.

Opponents say the casino, located well south of the Bay Mills reservation in the Upper Peninsula, is not legal because it's not on Indian land.

Bay Mills disagrees and says the casino is legal.

Published: Fri, Dec 24, 2010