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Massive Casino Expansion Plan To Be Unveiled In Michigan This Week

The state of Michigan is no stranger to casino gambling. Already, the state has casinos up and running, but lawmakers are about to make a move that could make Michigan one of the largest gaming destinations in North America.

The Committee for More Michigan Jobs is expected to propose a bill early this week that would allow voters to give approval to eight new casinos in the state. If the group proposing the measure wins approval this week, a campaign would be launched to convince voters to approve the gaming destinations.

Currently, analysts have predicted the measure would fail, as its massive context could scare away many conservative lawmakers and residents. What the measure would do, however, according to Gaming Analyst Steve Schwartz, is start the discussion towards gambling expansion in Michigan.

"Even if the plan ultimately fails, which I believe it will, it will bring a tremendous amount of exposure to an issue that is hot around the US," said Schwartz. "There is going to be a lot of lobbying money going into this battle, and the pro-expansion groups will ensure that the issue becomes a major topic in Michigan. Once that happens, expansion is usually not far behind."

Other states have recently passed casino bills after years of discussion, most notably Massachusetts. Governor Deval Patrick has been promoting his casino resort plan for over three years, and earlier this year he finally had a casino bill pass the Legislature. For Patrick, it was a victory for one of his campaign promises to Massachusetts residents.

The plan in Michigan would bring an estimated 16,000 jobs to a state that has been hit hard by the recession. Michigan, which relies heavily on its automobile industry, saw hundreds of thousands of people laid off during the recession. While the automotive industry has started to rebound from the recession in recent months, tens of thousands of residents still remain out of work.

"It's one of the silver bullets and one of the things we need to do to reinvigorate our economy," said Andy McLemore Jr., Principal Investor in the Detroit Casino Partnership. "Travel and entertainment are extremely critical in this state, and we are a leading state in the gaming industry. We need to recognize that, embrace it and take it to the next level, and that's what this is really all about."

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