Judge: City of Duluth can move forward with lawsuit to reclaim lost casino revenue

By KBJR News 1

December 19, 2013 Updated Dec 19, 2013 at 7:39 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com)--- A decision by a federal judge could bring new life to Duluth's battle with the Fond du Luth Casino over lost shared revenue from video slot machines.

U-S District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly denied a motion on Wednesday from the Department of Justice to dismiss a lawsuit by the city of Duluth.

As a result, attorneys for the city will be allowed to argue their case that the National Indian Gaming Commission should not have shut down the revenue-sharing agreement between Duluth and the Fond du Luth Casino.

The arrangement had provided the city with a 19 percent share of the money that went into slot machines.

Under the agreement, Duluth could reclaim nearly six million dollars a year that would be used for major city projects like street repair.

Duluth City Attorney Gunnar Johnson says the city has really struggled with trying to replace that source of revenue.

"As part of that agreement, both parties were to benefit, now because of the actions of the National Indian Gaming Commission, one party is benefitting, and one party has the burden," said Johnson.

The next step in the case is for the Department of Justice to file an answer to the city's complaint, and Johnson says, hopefully the case will then head to trial.

Posted to the web by Raeanna Marnati