LANSING (WWJ/AP) – Groups wanting to stop the spread of casinos in Michigan say they’ll file a lawsuit to try to halt a fall referendum that would allow more gambling halls.

The lawsuit by a group called Protect MI Vote says the ballot question is illegal because it would change the Michigan Constitution and state law.

The group plans to ask the Michigan appeals court Wednesday to block the secretary of state from approving petitions submitted by another group called Citizens for More Michigan Jobs.

Citizens for More Michigan Jobs wants voters to allow new casinos in Detroit, Pontiac, Grand Rapids, Romulus, Birch Run, Macomb County’s Clinton Township, Wexford County’s Clam Lake Township near Cadillac and Clinton County’s DeWitt Township near Lansing.

Opponents of casino expansion are American Indian tribes and others who own casinos in Michigan, including the MGM Grand and Greektown Casino in Detroit, the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe and the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi.

Backers of the casino referendum include ex-House Speaker Rick Johnson and ex-legislator and state budget director Mitch Irwin.

Citizens for More Michigan Jobs spokeswoman Emily Palsrok said critics just don’t want the competition, but the new casinos would help boost the local economy, creating an estimated 16,000 new jobs.

MORE: Michigan Casino Campaigns Face Difficult Challenge

8 New Casinos? Vote Could Come In November

Sault Tribe Members Approve Lansing Casino Plan

TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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