The governor will take his time making a decision on the Menominee Hard Rock casino and resort in Kenosha.
As he considers whether to approve the massive casino project in Kenosha, Governor Scott Walker says he wants a more in-depth review of the proposal. In a statement, Walker says his administration will “invest the time necessary to reach a positive solution for the state,” reiterating his priority to create jobs.
Casino spokesman Michael Beightol says this is a positive step forward. “The Menominee and Hard Rock are grateful the governor and secretary are taking their time to really examine the opportunity that exists with the Kenosha casino.” He says, “The timing certainly is not as important as the opportunity to create new jobs for Wisconsin.”
Five thousand new jobs, he says.
Walker says he’ll continue to focus on meeting the criteria set out more than two years ago, including getting consensus from all 11 tribes in Wisconsin. Walker is directing DOA secretary Mike Huebsch to have “extensive discussions” with the tribal governments.
Beightol is looking forward to meeting with Huebsch. “We’re pretty clear on what we’ve presented to date. And clearly what’s happened here is jobs are paramount for Wisconsin. We are offering 5,000 new jobs without a penny of any public funding involved.”
The Forest County Potawatomi and Ho-Chunk have been vocal critics of the Kenosha casino, arguing it would result in lost revenue for their own operations.
In response to Walker’s latest statement, the Potowotomi says the tribe appreciates Walker’s promise for a thorough and deliberate evaluation. Though, George Ermert writes, they expect the governor will find the project “does not meet his criteria and is not in the best interest of Wisconsin.”