Michigan groups proposing casino expansion

Add Michigan to the growing list of states looking at gaming expansion as a means to grow statewide revenues.

The two groups -- “Michigan is Yours” and “Racing to Save Michigan” -- have launched petition drives to place initiatives on November's ballot that would allow new casinos in the state.

Each group needs to collect 386,000 signatures by July 5.

Michigan already has three casinos in Detroit and several Indian casinos.

“Racing to Save Michigan's” proposal is to add three new casinos around the state and add casino gaming to Michigan's five licensed racetracks.

The competing “Michigan is Yours” is seeking to put seven casinos in Detroit, Flint, Lansing, Benton Harbor, Muskegon, Port Huron and at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport. The group also wants to allow sports betting at all new casinos.

The racetrack proposal calls for a 30 percent gaming tax. The "Michigan is Yours" proposal is asking for a 19 percent gaming tax on the new casinos.

Union Gaming Group Principal Bill Lerner thought the seven-casino proposal might be pushed back to 2012 to avoid confusion. However, he thought the chances of either issue passing were relatively low.