Governor Scott Walker will not announce today whether he’ll say yes or no to the Menominee Indians’ proposed new casino in Kenosha.
Spokesman Tom Evenson says the Republican governor needs more time to review information the tribe submitted during a meeting with Walker on Wednesday. A new date for an announcement has not been set.
The federal government gave its blessing to the proposed $800 million resort and gambling complex two months ago. That left it up to the governor to make the final call. Among other things, Walker demanded that all 11 Wisconsin Indian tribes support the new casino. The Potawatomi and Ho-Chunk tribes adamantly oppose it — but Menominee leaders said the two tribes approved the new casino on a technicality, when they signed their own new gaming agreements with the state a decade ago. The Ho-Chunk says it doesn’t know anything about that.
The Menominee also offered to pay more of its gaming revenues to the state, so the Potawatomi and Ho-Chunk can pay less — thus off-setting their revenue losses resulting from a Kenosha casino.
Menominee Chairman Craig Corn says the tribe remains “cautiously optimistic” following Walker’s announcement, and takes it as a “good sign” that the governor is seriously reviewing their proposal. Corn says they “respect the governor’s decision and we are grateful for his leadership on this matter.”
In a statement, the Forest County Potawatomi said the delay changes nothing about their opposition to the proposal. Spokesman Ken Walsh saus “After a careful, serious and good-faith review, the Potawatomi cannot support this Kenosha casino application because of the corruption associated with it and the hundreds of millions of dollars that will be sent to the out-of-state gambling interests invested in the project.”