Gun Lake Casino in Wayland, Michigan, has been in operation for nearly 10 years since opening in February 2011. During that time, the Gun Lake Tribe has shared more than $150 million with local governments and the state.
Earlier this week, Gun Lake Tribe officials released its fall revenue-sharing payments. Gun Lake sent $3,293,020 to the state of Michigan and $1,475,308 to the local revenue sharing board, according to a news release from the tribe. GLIMI, which is an economic development entity, received $987,906 from the tribe.
The figures are calculated from electronic gaming revenues reported from April 1 through Sept. 30. This year’s revenue sharing puts the tribe at $150,047,785 total shared with state and local governments, with more than $98 million going to the state, according to the news release.
“The Tribe’s commitment to make a positive impact on our local community has never been stronger as we all persevere through the pandemic,” Bob Peters, chairman of the Gun Lake Tribe, said in the news release. “This distribution would not be possible without the dedication of our executives and team members at the casino. We thank them immensely and congratulate them for helping us surpass $150 million in revenue sharing.”
The payments to the state go to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which uses the funds to award grants to businesses to invest in Michigan and create jobs.
As defined by the tribal-state gaming compact, Gun Lake has exclusive gaming rights within its competitive area. The market includes the cities of Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing and the entire counties of Kent, Kalamazoo and Ingham, among others. Gun Lake’s revenue-sharing payments are dependent on the continued preservation of its exclusive gaming rights.
Detroit’s three commercial casinos are required to remain closed through Dec. 20 due to a state-mandated epidemic order from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). But tribal casinos within Michigan can independently decide whether to follow the state or continue operating.
Gun Lake is one of the tribal land-based casinos that has decided to stay open with advanced safety precautions in place. The casino recently announced reduced hours of operation from 9 a.m. to 5 a.m., the closure of food and beverage outlets, no smoking and increased sanitation measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19.
“With the safety and wellbeing of our team members and guests being of utmost importance, Gun Lake Casino has made the decision to continue to do our part by extending our efforts to protect our surrounding communities until further notice,” the casino said in a news release on Dec. 8. “While the casino will remain open, Gun Lake Casino will continue to operate with alterations and amenities offered.”
Other changes at Gun Lake included the closing of all table games outside the high limit room and new limited capacity within the high limit room.