Governor Scott Walker said he was protecting Wisconsin taxpayers -- not his national political standing -- when he rejected the 800-million dollar Kenosha casino. Walker announced his long-awaited decision Friday, just one day before he's scheduled to appear with other possible G-O-P White House candidates in Iowa. The gathering comes about a year before next January's Iowa presidential caucuses.
The Menominee tribe says its proposal for a Kenosha casino is getting closer to reality, now that the Bureau of Indian Affairs has rejected an amendment between the state and the Forest County Potawatomi.
But the Potawatomi say the state could still owe the tribe money if the Kenosha casino moves forward.
The amendment would have put the state and the Menominee tribe on the hook to make up any Potawatomi losses as a result of a new casino in nearby Kenosha.
Gary Besaw is Chair of the Menominee Kenosha Gaming Authority.
The U-S Bureau of Indian Affairs has rejected an agreement which called for the Forest County Potawatomi to be reimbursed by the state for any losses at its Milwaukee casino when another casino is opened less than 50 miles away.
Governor Scott Walker still has until next month to approve or deny the proposed off-reservation casino the Menominee Nation wants to open. The Potawatomi plans to sue, saying the courts should reinstate the deal which would force the state of Wisconsin to pay them 100-million dollars if the second casino project moves forward.
It’s been a year since the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs gave the green light to the Menominee tribe’s proposal for an off-reservation casino in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
But Governor Scott Walker has yet to weigh in on the plan, which needs state approval to move forward. Walker has said he wants all of the state’s eleven tribes to support the project before he says yes.
Editor's Note: This report was updated at 4:01 p.m.
A report on Indian gaming is drawing mixed interpretations about how casinos are doing in Wisconsin.
The report from gaming information publisher Casino City shows a slight increase in Wisconsin’s gaming revenue from 2011 and 2012. But it also shows more than 3-percent drop over six years, from 2007 through 2012.
The Lac du Flambeau tribe continues to support more Indian gaming in Wisconsin. Lac du Flambeau president Tom Maulson has sent a letter to Governor Scott Walker in support of the Menominee proposal for an off-reservation casino in Kenosha.
The Menominee plan has gained federal approval but is being held up by opposition from the Forest County Potawatomi and Ho-Chunk Tribes. Joe Hunt is an off reservation gaming consultant for Lac du Flambeau.