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Gaming Commission


Lynn Haataja

Gaming Commission Director

The mission of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Gaming Commission is to protect the assets of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community by ensuring that adequate internal controls are in place and conformed to; ensuring the conduct of fair and honest gaming; protecting the integrity of gaming; and regulating all forms of permissible and authorized gaming within the jurisdiction of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community.

Gaming Commission Staff

Lynn Haataja, Executive Director
Phone: (906) 353-6623 x4225

Kim LaBerge, Office Coordinator
Phone: (906) 353-6623 x4222

Michael Cardinal, Compliance Officer
Phone: (906) 353-6623 x4116

Lori Mayo, Background Investigator/License Coordinator
Phone: (906) 353-6623 x4221

Gaming Commissioners

David Rantanen, Commissioner
Phone: (906) 353-6623 x4222

Michael Duschane, Commissioner
Phone: (906) 353-6623 x4222

William Seppanen Sr., Commissioner
Phone: (906) 353-6623 x4222

The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community takes great pride in the fact that Indian casino gaming began on our Reservation. In 1982 the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Tribal Council issued a license to open a casino to Tribal member Fred Dakota. On December 31, 1982 Mr. Dakota opened his casino on our Reservation. After many legal battles Mr. Dakota was forced to close his casino, but his effort allowed the Tribal Council to open a Tribal Casino in 1984. Other Tribes followed and Tribal casino gaming spread across the country. Thanks to the foresight and leadership of members of our Community, Indian casino gaming today is a $20 Billion industry that provides jobs, resources, and educational opportunities for Native American people across the United States.

The Community had been successfully operating and self-regulating their gaming for several years prior to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) being passed into law. Once IGRA was passed in 1988, the Tribe worked together with other Michigan Tribes in negotiating a Compact with the State of Michigan and developed a Tribal Gaming Ordinance. The Tribe adopted the Minimum Internal Control Standards of the National Indian Gaming Commission, developed their own Tribal Internal Control Standards, and a complete Written Internal Control System.

The Tribal Council operated as the Gaming Commission under the Tribal Gaming Ordinance making sure that all laws were followed and fair and honest games were maintained. In 2006 the Council passed a Gaming Commission Ordinance that allowed for a Gaming Commission independent of the tribal Council. A new Gaming Regulatory Ordinance was also passed at that time. On July 13, 2006 the Tribal Council appointed three new Gaming Commissioners to three year terms. The three new Commissioners came on board August 1, 2006 and were put into intensive training for a two month period including a Gaming Commissioner Certification training put on by the National Indian Gaming Association. On October 1, 2006 the new Certified Commissioners took office.

The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Gaming Commission is in place to protect the integrity of gaming and to enforce the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988, the Tribal-State Compact, and the KBIC Gaming Regulatory Ordinance. The Commission is the enforcement agency and regulatory authority for the Tribal Government of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and is responsible for the regulation of Tribal gaming. The Commission is responsible for monitoring, detection, enforcing, and investigating all gaming violations of the Written Internal Control System, Tribal/State Compact requirements, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and the Tribal Gaming Ordinance. The Commission completes background investigations on employees and vendors to the Casinos and promulgates regulations to protect the assets of the Tribe and insure the integrity of all games.

It is important to note that the Gaming Commission is also responsible for ensuring that the profits from gaming are distributed properly. Eight percent of slot machine gaming profits from the Ojibwa Casino in Marquette and the Ojibwa Casino in Baraga are sent to the state of Michigan. Two percent of the slot machine gaming profits from the two casinos are sent to help support local governments. The remaining profits are spent supporting government programs of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community such as health, housing, and social service programs to assist the membership of the Community.

The KBIC Gaming Commission is responsible for all Tribal and Non-Tribal gaming within the jurisdictional area of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community. The two Tribal Casinos that fall within this jurisdiction are the Ojibwa Casino, 16449 Michigan Avenue, Baraga, Michigan 49908 and the Ojibwa Casino Marquette, 105 Acre Trail, Marquette, Michigan 49855.