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Campaign Wants Seven New Casinos In Michigan

ROMULUS (WWJ) - A big push begins to bring more casinos to Michigan. A campaign called "Michigan Is YOURS" kicks off Thursday afternoon, and the goal is to gather thousands of petition signatures from people who support building seven new casinos in the state.

Anthony Gray, who's one of the organizers of the campaign, says they need to get 320,000 signatures during the petition drive in order to put the proposal on the November 2012 ballot. Afterwards, says Gray, "Let the people in the state of Michigan decide if they'd like to see the gaming venues at the venue cities."

Along with Detroit - which already has three casinos - the proposal would open casinos in Grand Rapids, Lansing, Romulus, Saginaw, Benton Harbor and Mount Clemens. A similar proposal did not make last year's ballot.

Gray says the ultimate goal is more jobs and more money in Michigan. "We're really about trying to provide jobs and some economic development. We would like to see a level playing field here and bring some additional taxes and revenue, and I think we're doing pretty good at putting that plan together," he says.

According to their website, The "Michigan is Yours" initiative would fully and permanently fund the Michigan Promise Grant program (38% of the tax revenue); and fully and permanently fund the Pure Michigan National Advertising Campaign (20% of the tax revenue). It would also pay 20% tax revenue to the local governments and 2% tax revenue to the counties where the casinos are located. The remainder of the tax (20%) would be paid directly to the state for deposit in the State School Aid Fund.

The kick-off is an invitation-only event held Thursday at 2 pm in Romulus. You can visit the "Michigan is Yours" website to download a petition.

© 2011 WWJ Newsradio 950, All Rights Reserved.

How do you feel about more casino's in Michigan? Are seven casinos too many? What about their proposed locations? Leave us your comments below.

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