Congress to revisit Michigan gaming plan

A U.S. House committee will consider whether to revive a measure to allow two Michigan casinos that had been headed off in April by Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Brighton.

Among those scheduled to testify today against the casinos with Rogers is Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. Kilpatrick has said the casinos will compete with the three existing ones in Detroit.

Casino supporters testifying include Rep. John Dingell, D-Dearborn, Romulus Mayor Alan Lambert, Port Huron Mayor Mark Neal and members of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and the Bay Mills Indian Community.

The Sault Ste. Marie tribe would build a casino in Romulus. The tribe owns five of the state’s 16 American Indian casinos and has a majority stake in Detroit’s Greektown Casino.

The Bay Mills tribe would build a casino in Port Huron. The tribe owns two Michigan casinos.

The committee could vote to send the bill to the full House for a vote or hold it for more testimony.

Rogers got enough support in April to strip an amendment from a transportation bill that would have given congressional approval to the casinos.

Congressional approval is needed for a land-claim settlement worked out between the two tribes and signed by former Gov. John Engler in 2002.

Wynn breaks ground on Macau project

Las Vegas gambling mogul Steve Wynn broke ground today on his first Macau casino, a $705 million megaresort that will bring fresh competition to the enclave’s top industry.

Wynn Macau, which will include 600 hotel rooms and 100,000 square feet of gambling space, will open by the end of 2006.

Wynn is setting up shop near the Lisboa hotel-casino, the flagship property of longtime Macau casino boss Stanley Ho, who recently lost a gaming monopoly here that had lasted for more than four decades.

Macau, which was returned to Chinese sovereignty in 1999 after more than 400 years of rule from Portugal, is just 40 miles west of Hong Kong. The tiny enclave attract thousands of Hong Kong and Chinese gamblers — who have no casinos at home — and it decided in 2002 to open its gaming industry to competition.