Does Michigan need more casinos? It's a question voters may answer this fall

Apr 3, 2012

A petition drive is underway that may end with asking Michigan voters if they want more casinos.

The state Board of Canvassers approved the form of the petition today.

If enough signatures are collected, voters this fall will be asked to approve expanding the number of private casinos in Michigan by eight. The expansion is opposed by Michigan’s existing casino owners.

Emily Palsrok is with the Citizens for More Michigan Jobs, the group behind the petition drive.    

“Well we think there’s more room for competition.  We don’t think anyone should be afraid of that," says Palsrok, "The gaming industry in Michigan is doing very well.  If we look at the numbers that just the three Detroit casinos posted…they’re doing very well…there’s room for more competition.” 

There are several other proposals that could eventually double the number of casinos in Michigan.

Supporters of the campaign would have to collect more than 300,000 voter signatures to make a statewide ballot.

Among the locations that would get new casinos through the proposal are Detroit, Pontiac, Grand Rapids and Romulus. Others would be in Birch Run, Macomb County's Clinton Township, Wexford County's Clam Lake Township and DeWitt Township in the Lansing area.