Representatives from FireKeepers Casino announced Wednesday that the organization would make its biggest financial contributions yet to local communities and the state.
Millions of dollars from the casino will help fund municipalities in Calhoun County.
According to the compact the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi has with the state, FireKeepers makes contributions to the state and to the FireKeepers Local Revenue Sharing Board every year.
Since the casino opened in 2009, it has distributed more than $200 million from gaming earnings.
The distributions have increased each year for the last five years.
In 2020, FireKeepers wrote a check for nearly $19 million to the state, and one for close to $6 million to the Local Revenue Sharing Board.
Discretionary funds help finance projects throughout the county like police cruisers, sidewalks and libraries.
Derek King, secretary of the Local Revenue Sharing Board, said, “It’s just mind-shattering to understand the amount of impact that a place like this has."
A big portion of the money, payed in lieu of taxes, goes to Emmett Township and Athens.
Jamie Stuck, chairperson of the FireKeepers Development Authority Board, said, “We don’t have to pay property taxes, so it’s just a gesture on our end to say, 'well we’re gonna provide those taxes anyway.'"
FireKeepers is building a second hotel tower that's scheduled to open at the end of 2020.
Stuck said the new tower will create even bigger distributions in the coming years.