FRUITPORT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The deadline for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to make a decision on a proposed Muskegon-area casino has been extended.

The original deadline was Dec. 16. The Department of Interior has granted a request to extend the deadline to June 16, 2022, a spokesperson for the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians said. The move was expected.

“While the Tribe and the community are disappointed that she did not approve our casino, we understand she has been focused on navigating the pandemic and other critical issues,” Tribal Ogema Larry Romanelli with Little River Band of Ottawa Indians said in a statement. “Over the next six months, we will continue to work with the community to show the positive impact and importance this project will have on jobs, tourism, convention business, and the local economy. And we are confident in her final approval.”

The casino is expected to create 1,500 construction jobs, 1,500 permanent jobs, the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians said. They say it will also create $15 million every year for the state of Michigan and millions for local governments.