The Fond du Lac Band of Ojibwe and the city of Duluth are both appealing a recent court decision that ends an agreement over the tribe's downtown Fond-du-Luth casino.
Last month the city suffered a defeat when a federal judge ruled the Band no longer had to pay the city about $6 million a year. But the judge also ruled the Band owed Duluth about $14 million it had withheld since 2009.
Earlier the National Indian Gaming Commission issued an opinion saying any payments violate federal law. The Band appealed the court ruling to reconcile the conflict over whether to pay the $14 million, tribal chairwoman Karen Diver said.
Duluth city attorney Gunnar Johnson expressed surprise at the Band's appeal. He said the city's appeal is seeking the right to receive a share of the casino's revenues for another 25 years.
The Fond du Lac Band is also asking the Bureau of Indian Affairs to annex property adjacent to the casino into the reservation. The application to place the acre of land in trust could potentially open the door to a casino expansion. The application does not detail the Band's plans for the property, except to raze an old hotel on the site.