For five years running, the FireKeepers Casino Hotel has been able to donate over $5 million to schools and local governments in their area of Michigan. On Monday, the event center of the casino hosted a ceremony in which the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi gave a check to the city. The tribe owns the casino and presented the FireKeepers Local Revenue Sharing Board with $5,656,690. Along with that amount, the tribe presented the state with a check for just over $18 million.
Kathy George is the CEO of FireKeepers, who stated that they are proud to be part of the community and the opportunity to give back is phenomenal. The FireKeepers is a tribal corporation so they are able to be tax exempt. Because of this, the tribe has an agreement with the state where they make a payment that equals 2% of the annual revenue from electronic casino games to areas impacted by the venue.
The money provided to the Local Revenue Sharing Board will be given to several institutions including schools, the road commission and the local library. Back in 2016, an amendment was made between the tribe and state which would see $500,000 of the payments each year going toward the state Native American Heritage Fund. This fund helps to promote positive relationships with tribes and a better understanding of their history.
The casino first opened in 2009 and made their first payment to the local governments by 2010 of close to $2 million. The casino has continued to provide millions of dollars year after year to the local region as well as the state. The $18 million+ provided to the state this year was actually an increase in revenues of almost 6% when compared to the previous year. The local amount was also an increase from last year of 4.62%.