(Battle Creek, Mich.) March 14, 2024 – The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi (NHBP), owners of FireKeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek, proudly announced their continued commitment to the State of Michigan and the local community through substantial contributions and support.

The payment to the State of Michigan totaled more than $20.5 million, marking a notable increase of 1.16% over the previous year. Additionally, the payment to the FireKeepers Local Revenue Sharing Board (FLRSB) exceeded $6.2 million, producing a 0.95% increase from the previous year. These contributions bring NHBP’s total monies contributed to the State of Michigan to over $235.3 million and $78.5 million to the FLRSB since the opening of FireKeepers Casino Hotel in Aug. 2009, culminating in a combined contribution exceeding $313.9 million.

Two checks were presented from NHBP and FireKeepers; the first for $20,519,503 was presented to Brad Heffner, Associate General Counsel for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The second check for $6,254,876 was presented to FLRSB Chairperson, Deb Belles. The funds distributed are part of a negotiated agreement between NHBP and the state for 2023 operations at NHBP’s FireKeepers Casino Hotel.

“Today’s contributions reaffirm NHBP’s dedication to fostering economic growth and prosperity within the State of Michigan and our Local Revenue Sharing Board,” stated Jamie Stuck, Tribal Council Chairperson for the NHBP. “As stewards of our community, we take great pride in our ongoing partnership with the State and our local communities, a tangible example of our commitment to supporting vital initiatives that benefit our region.”

FireKeepers Casino Hotel, a cornerstone of economic development in the region, expanded its employee base to 2,138 Team Members, further solidifying its role as a leading employer in the area. Frank Tecumseh, Chief Executive Officer at FireKeepers Casino Hotel, expressed his enthusiasm for the casino’s contributions, stating, “At FireKeepers, we understand the importance of giving back to the communities that have supported us. Through our contributions to the state and local economies, as well as our sponsorship of major events like the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway and the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Golf Championship, we are proud to play a significant role in the continued growth and success of our region.” The consistent job growth is based in large part on the tribe and management’s shared culture and an outstanding package of salaries, bonuses and benefits. 2023 saw FireKeepers achieve a new record, with cumulative paid labor and benefit costs which totaled $107.6 million, an increase of 3.3% over 2022. Since opening, the total labor and benefits have exceeded $1 billion! This investment includes total wages, health insurance, 401k matches, and incentives.

The NHBP and FireKeepers Casino Hotel remain dedicated to reinvesting in local communities and supporting charitable endeavors throughout Michigan and neighboring states. Notable initiatives include the management of the Kendall Street Pantry in downtown Battle Creek, which operates as an agency of the South Michigan Food Bank, and the sponsorship of various charitable organizations and events.

A 2016 Compact Amendment between NHBP and the State of Michigan provides for a payment of up to $500,000 per year of state revenue sharing payments to the Michigan Native American Heritage Fund. Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi Chairperson Jamie Stuck and Vice Chairperson Dorie Rios are appointed members of the Heritage Fund Board. In 2023, this fund provided financial assistance and/or reimbursement to public and private K-12 grade schools, colleges, universities, local units of government, and other organizations to improve curricula and educational resources related to Michigan Indian History and to defray the costs of projects that promote positive relationships and accurate information on the history and role of Michigan’s Indian tribes and Native Americans in the state. Grant recipients include Baraga Area Schools, Chippewa Hills School District, Manistee Area Public Schools, Meridian Charter Township, Pellston Public Schools, Petoskey Schools, Port Huron Area School District, Sandusky Community Schools, and Watersmeet Township School District.

The NHBP has made a concentrated effort to focus FireKeepers Casino Hotel on supporting local businesses and suppliers and extend contributions to the local economy beyond the FLRSB and the distribution to the state. Therefore, spending in the State of Michigan, especially in our local areas, grew substantially in awarding contracts in excess of $45.8 million in 2023 and exceeding $755 million lifetime.

Greater Calhoun County Region: $7 million (Calhoun, Jackson, Branch)
West Michigan: $19.9 million (Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Grand Traverse, Kalamazoo, Kent, Muskegon, Ottawa, Van Buren)
Lansing Area: $3.4million (Ingham, Eaton, Clinton)
Metro Detroit: $2.4 million (Wayne)
Other: $13.1 million (Chippewa, Genesee, Gratiot, Ionia, Livingston, Macomb, Manistee, Marquette, Mecosta, Midland, Monroe, Newaygo, Oakland, Saginaw, St. Clair, Shiawassee, Washtenaw, Wexford)

The check presented to the FLRSB is the fourteenth distribution since the first distribution in Feb. 2010, when the NHBP presented a check to the FLRSB for nearly $2 million. The $78.5 million distributed to date has benefited a diverse array of groups, including:

Harper Creek Community Schools
Calhoun County Road Commission
Emmett Township
Calhoun County
Calhoun Intermediate School District
Kellogg Community College
Willard Library
Athens Township
Marshall Township
City of Marshall
City of Battle Creek
Athens Area Schools
Village of Athens
Battle Creek Public Schools
Marshall Public Schools
Lakeview School District
Pennfield Schools


NHBP, a federally recognized Tribal government with more than 1,600 enrolled Tribal Members, gained federal recognition December 19, 1995. The Tribe’s main offices are located at the Pine Creek Indian Reservation near Athens, Michigan, and in Grand Rapids, Michigan. NHBP provides benefits, programs, and services to Tribal Members through various Tribal government departments, as well as a Tribal Police Department, Tribal Court and Gaming Commission.

NHBP’s economic development entities include FireKeepers Casino Hotel, a Vegas-style casino, and Waséyabek Development Company, LLC, which focuses on the pursuit of non-gaming, economic diversification opportunities.

For more information visit nhbp-nsn.gov.

FireKeepers Casino Hotel, conveniently located just off Interstate 94 at Exit 104 in Battle Creek, MI, has been acclaimed as the Best Casino by audiences in Western Michigan and Northern Indiana. Furthermore, it has garnered over 30 awards in the Casino Player Magazine’s Best of Gaming 2023 Native Midwest category, including the esteemed title of Best Overall Gaming Resort, affirming its status as a premier gaming destination. FireKeepers has been recognized as a Best-in-State Employer by Forbes and Employer of the Year by Michigan Works! Association. Additionally, it was chosen as one of the Best Casinos to Work For by Casino Player Magazine. FireKeepers’ signature restaurant, Nibi, is a multiple recipient of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence and awarded a AAA Four Diamond designation in 2023. The property features 2,900 slot machines, 63 table games, and a 26-table live poker room. FireKeepers’ resort-style hotel has been rated AAA Four Diamond for nine consecutive years and offers 446 rooms, a functional multi-purpose event center, six distinctive dining destinations, and multiple lounges. FireKeepers is the title sponsor of the FireKeepers Casino 400, a NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway, and a host of the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship, an EPSON Tour-Road to the LPGA golf event. For more information, visit firekeeperscasino.com.

Author: Philip Lopez