ROMULUS (WWJ) – A big push begins to bring more casinos to Michigan. A campaign called “Michigan Is YOURS” kicks off Thursday afternoon, and the goal is to gather thousands of petition signatures from people who support building seven new casinos in the state.

Anthony Gray, who’s one of the organizers of the campaign, says they need to get 320,000 signatures during the petition drive in order to put the proposal on the November 2012 ballot. Afterwards, says Gray, “Let the people in the state of Michigan decide if they’d like to see the gaming venues at the venue cities.”

Along with Detroit – which already has three casinos – the proposal would open casinos in Grand Rapids, Lansing, Romulus, Saginaw, Benton Harbor and Mount Clemens. A similar proposal did not make last year’s ballot.

Gray says the ultimate goal is more jobs and more money in Michigan. “We’re really about trying to provide jobs and some economic development. We would like to see a level playing field here and bring some additional taxes and revenue, and I think we’re doing pretty good at putting that plan together,” he says.

According to their website, The “Michigan is Yours” initiative would fully and permanently fund the Michigan Promise Grant program (38% of the tax revenue); and fully and permanently fund the Pure Michigan National Advertising Campaign (20% of the tax revenue). It would also pay 20% tax revenue to the local governments and 2% tax revenue to the counties where the casinos are located. The remainder of the tax (20%) would be paid directly to the state for deposit in the State School Aid Fund.

The kick-off is an invitation-only event held Thursday at 2 pm in Romulus. You can visit the “Michigan is Yours” website to download a petition.

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How do you feel about more casino’s in Michigan? Are seven casinos too many? What about their proposed locations? Leave us your comments below.

Comments (5)
  1. A Michigan Resident says:

    Question: What do you do when you can’t save your primary source of economy, the automotive industry?

    Answer: you open casinos

    More jobs and more money……HA! Look at Detroit and see what three casinos have done for that small town. Michigan needs to get smarter.

  2. Jille says:

    No more casinos!! This state will be nothing but trash. Only Las Vegas does it right. This is the second worst idea I’ve heard since Rick Snyder’s plans to improve Michigan. “Do not resuscitate.” Our new motto.

  3. juscurious1 says:

    I would support this initiative only if it opens the ownership and management of the new casinos to free market competition. The previous initiative put the process in the hands of a single private management group, and I opposed that as unconstitutional and anti-competitive.

    When there was only one casino in mid-Michigan, the Soaring Eagle, they had an attitude of arrogance and contempt towards their customers, as people had no alternatives. Now that there is competition, the Soaring Eagle has discovered a born-again interest in customer service and pricing.

    Any ballot initiative should open the ownership and management of casinos to competitive bidding, with the winner offering the highest payout to the state and local governments. Also, any ownership or management group should be limited to one casino, creating true competition.

    Casinos in Las Vegas, faced with competition, try to woo customers with higher comps and discounted food. In Michigan, casinos seem to compete to see who can charge the HIGHEST prices for food.

    If this goes on the ballot, it should allow for open bidding by any ownership or management group, and each group should be limited to one casino.

    Keep it competitive, keep it fair, keep it consumer friendly. OR VOTE IT DOWN.

  4. Longshot says:

    More Casinos while the State Of Michigan allows Horse Racing to die. At the beginning from 1933 when pari-mutual betting it was signed into law, it was Horse Racing that generated $400,000 Million to Michigan every year. Long before we heard of the word Lottery here in 1972, then Casinos ( Tribunal in 1988 ) then Detroit in 1996.

    Yet Michigan has thrown an Industry that still has over 12,000 ( at one time 42,000 ) jobs directly and indirectly connected to it, to the wolves. To the Horsemen & Women themselves, to the farms of Agriculture that supply the Hay & Straw, Tack Shops, Vets, Blacksmiths, Exercise Riders, Grooms, Pony People, Hot Walkers, Valets, people the take care of and maintain the Track surface. Etc…….

    So this proposal wants it legal to bet on sporting events? Will Horse Racing be one of those events? And considering the amount of Revenue that RACINOS have generated surrounding Michigan like Indiana. Why isn’t the Race Tracks also included with this Proposal. The Tracks are already gambling establishments.

    Once upon a time Gov. Engler had stated if you give the Tracks slots everybody will want them. Bars, Bowling Alley’s, Party Stores everybody from beauty shops to every restaurants. Funny thing is, the Bars and Bowling Alleys among others got Keno machines, They have the right to operate Charity Casinos.

    And the Horse Racing Tracks? Absolutely Nothing. And it’s appalling.

    The only thing that should be added as further Gaming in this State is allowing the existing Race Tracks to gain Slots. Racino Stats don’t Lie.

    Not only would it save this Industry and the jobs already connected to it. But it would also generate Millions upon Millions more to the State. Nothing but a WIN-WIN situation for both.

    Michigan has thrown the Horse Racing Industry into the Hell Pits. Yet another Ballot Proposal for more Casinos. 12,000 jobs about to die their final death.

    What in the hell is anybody thinking in this State?

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