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Judge rules Duluth owed $10.3 million in casino revenue

DULUTH -- A U.S. District Court judge ruled Tuesday that the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa must pay the city of Duluth at least $10.3 million in casino revenue back payments.

The ruling addresses the period between late 2009 -- when the band stopped paying the city under a revenue-sharing agreement involving the Fond-Du-Luth Casino -- and April 2011. It does not affect money the city claims the band owes since that date.

Mayor Don Ness called the ruling by Judge Susan Nelson “an important victory for Duluth” and said he believes the final amount owed to the city will increase once interest is taken into account.

“(It) gives us confidence that the $12 million owed to the city of Duluth will be paid,” Ness said.

Karen Diver, chairwoman of the band, said she was not surprised by the ruling because Nelson had previously issued the same opinion.

Diver said her records indicate that the amount in question is just under $10.4 million, but that does not include any interest that may be applied

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