DULUTH - The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied the City of Duluth's request to review a ruling that put an end to a profit-sharing agreement between the Fond-du-Luth Casino and the city.
Duluth City Attorney Gunnar Johnson said he was not surprised the request was denied and that it was a long-shot in the first place.
However, Fond du Lac Band leaders claim it is another step toward vindication.
Last month, the Court of Appeals came out with the decision that made the contract between the two parties null and void.
Soon after, the city requested all 11 judges in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals review the case.
"We wanted to make sure we were covering all our bases," Johnson said.
Still, Fond du Lac Band Chairwoman Karen Diver said the decision is a key component in the ongoing dispute.
"It's another step in the closure of trying to move past all of this," Diver said. "It leaves fewer options to pursue in the future."
However, Johnson said it does not mean the city is backing down from trying to put a new agreement in place.
"We will continue to pursue every option on behalf of the City of Duluth," Johnson said.
The uncertain future is something that Diver said is unfortunate for the casino itself.
"We feel like we're a bit in limbo because we'd like to start making some plans to rehabilitate the property," Diver said.
What has yet to be decided in court is if the band will have to pay the $12.5 million in payments they chose not to make from 2009 to 2011.
Duluth Mayor Don Ness said the previous agreement brought in $8 million to the city each year.