Operator Jamie Stuck

The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi

Battle Creek, Michigan 49014

Based in Michigan, the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi were federally recognized in 1995 and operate the FireKeepers Casino.

History 

The Potawatomi Nation originally lived on the southeastern shoreline of Lake Michigan, across to Detroit and down towards Indiana, Ohio and Illinois. Despite attempts to move the Nation during the Potawatomi Removal, a group of members escaped and returned to Michigan. This would become the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi.

The Council of Three Fires is a long-standing Anishinaabe alliance of the Ojibwe (Chippewa), Odawa (Ottawa) and Potawatomi North American Native tribes that can be traced back to 796 AD.

Despite not being included in the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act, the Odawa, Ojibwe and Potawatomi people managed to achieve federal recognition independently. 

Construction began for the Nation’s first gaming operation in 2008, with the FireKeepers Casino opening in Battle Creek, Michigan, on August 5, 2009. 

Tribal Government

The current Tribal Council consists of Jamie Stuck, Chairperson; Dorie Rios, Vice-Chairperson; Nancy Smit, Secretary; Jeff Chivis, Treasurer; and Homer Mandoka, Sergeant-at-Arms. In addition to their responsibilities related to the Tribal government, the Tribal Council also provides oversight to FireKeepers Casino Hotel and Waséyabek Development Company.

Following the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi’s Gaming Regulatory Act of 2010, gaming became lawful within the jurisdiction and the Nation formed its Gaming Commission.

The Potawatomi Gaming Commission ensures that operations comply with both the Tribe’s Gaming Regulatory Act, the Federal Government’s Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) and the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

Tribal gaming operations

The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi started construction of the FireKeepers Casino Hotel on May 7, 2008 as part of a joint venture between Shingobee Builders and Clark Construction. The casino would officially open on August 5, 2009.

The FireKeepers Casino was first developed by Gaming Entertainment Michigan (GEM) which was a joint project between developer Robert Mathewson and operator Full House Resorts. The original contract stipulated that GEM would manage the casino on opening in return for 26% of net income. However, Full House Resorts sold its casino management contract to the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi on February 29, 2012 for $97.5m. The Nation would take over full management in May.

The FireKeepers Casino is a 236,000-square-foot property based in Emmett Charter Township, Michigan, between Battle Creek and Marshall. 

Gaming facilities at the FireKeepers Casino include 2,900 slot machines, 63 table games and a dedicated poker room with 26 tables. There are also an additional 180 video poker machines, Keno and sports betting provided by Dacey’s Sportsbook.

In March 2023, the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi announced that the FireKeepers Casino contributed $20m to the state of Michigan and $6.1m to the FireKeepers Local Revenue Sharing Board (FLRSB). The Nation has a lifetime combined contribution of $287m.

Renovations

The property was first renovated on December 12, 2012. This included an eight-story, 243-room hotel complex, a new grand lobby featuring a symbolic light totem, porte cochere, indoor pool, an event center, a new restaurant and smoke-free gaming area. 

In April 2016 the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi renovated the FireKeepers Café 24/7 restaurant, designed by Kalamazoo architects, Seven Generations Architecture and Engineering and constructed by Moore Trosper Construction of Holt.

Later that same year, the FireKeepers Pit Stop opened on November 1 2016 as a gas station, car wash and convenience store. 

A month later in December 2016, Dacey’s Taphouse opened as a restaurant and bar concept. This venue would later house the FireKeepers Dacey’s Sportsbook.

In 2017 The Fire Hub opened, which is a multi-million dollar casino community reinvestment project directly funded by the FireKeepers Casino. The Fire Hub operates as a restaurant that works in conjunction with the South Michigan Food Bank, as well as supporting the development of nearby tribal lands to grow vegetables. Out of the total profits, 80% are given to local charities while 20% provide maintenance capital dollars. 

The latest major renovation was opened on August 16, 2021. This added a new hotel tower with 203 rooms and suites, a new restaurant, a new high-limit slot and table game area and a VIP lounge.

FireKeepers Casino launched online in July 2021. Through a partnership with Scientific Games, the operator launched FireKeepers iCasino and Sportsbook as both a website and a mobile app. 

Non-gaming operations

Bkedé O Mshiké

Bkedé O Mshiké is a general store constructed to provide basic goods and services to the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi. This includes home goods, health, food, crafted goods, gifts and artwork.

Waséyabek Development Company

Waséyabek Development Company (WDC) was created specifically to support non-gaming business diversification for the Tribe. The WDC handles the acquisitions, development and investments of businesses, with Defense, Medical and Real Estate being its three target industries.

Corporate Partners

Scientific Games' subsidiary, SG Digital, provided the technology to develop and launch the FireKeepers iCasino and Sportsbook in 2021. 

The Nation announced in 2016 that it would sponsor the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the Michigan International Speedway, which is now called the FireKeepers Casino 400 track.

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