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Whitmer denies new casino project in Muskegon

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Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer Wednesday refused to sign off on a proposed casino in Muskegon County, ending a campaign that started over a decade ago.

After 12 years of planning, The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians' proposed $180 million casino in Fruitport Township is officially dead, as Governor Gretchen Whitmer refused to give construction her final approval.

In what was once considered to be a formality, the Governor’s office says, approval became not so automatic after the Grand River Band of Ottawa Indians, who have been seeking Federal Recognition for over 20 years, claimed rightful ownership to the land on which the casino would be built.

Gov. Whitmer then asked the Department of Interior for an extension on the June 16th deadline. However, the Department of Interior rejected that request.

In a statement Wednesday, Whitmer blamed the Department of Interior for her decision, saying it put her in an “impossible situation.”

Supporters say the new casino would have brought 3000 new jobs to Muskegon County.