Gun Lake Casino’s first payout to state, local governments top expectations

Jun 2, 2011

The state and several local governments are getting more than $2.5 million from Gun Lake Casino. It’s the first revenue-sharing payment since the casino opened in February.

More than $500,000 goes to one city, six townships, Allegan County and a public school district near the casino about 30 minutes south of Grand Rapids.

Wayland Township Supervisor Roger VanVolkinburg is not the only one who underestimated how big the first check would be.  

“Well my estimate was $200,000 years ago so it’s was a little off. (laughs) I’m sorry.”

His township can certainly use the extra cash.

“With the economy the way it’s been the township has had to cut their budget every year for the last three years, forgo any kind of raises for any of the help and stuff. So this is going to be nice to be able to start doing some things that we’ve been putting off; especially roads and infrastructure like that that are badly needed.”

Norm Taylor is Superintendent of Wayland-Union Schools – a district with less than 3,000 students.

“Obviously the revenue-sharing funds will help our district. We’ve also experienced a few students moving into the area whose parent have jobs at the casino and that may expand as the casino expands.”

Taylor says they’re considering using the money to subsidize preschool and grant college scholarships in addition to plugging regular budget holes.

Michigan’s Economic Development Corporation got a check for more than $2 million dollars. That money will go to help businesses that get grants for investing in Michigan.

The casino will continue revenue-sharing payments twice a year based on how much money it makes.