The Menominee Indian tribe signed an amended gaming agreement with the state Tuesday, calling it a “clear path” for Governor Scott Walker to approve its new Kenosha casino.
The 25-year deal would give the state 7.5 percent of the tribe’s net winnings from gamblers. The tribe says its total payment would be an unprecedented $1 billion over the life of the compact.
The Menominee also promised to cover reductions in any profits to the Forest County Potawatomi and Ho-Chunk casinos caused by the new Hard Rock Casino and resort. If the annual state payments from those two tribes falls below $37.5 million dollars, the Menominee would make up the difference.
The Potawatomi, who operate a casino in Milwaukee, have threatened legal action if the Kenosha project is approved. The tribe also argue the state may owe them as much as $100 million if the casino is built.
Brian Nemoir with Enough Already! WI, a group opposed to expanding off-reservation gaming in the state, said in a statement that the agreement “reaffirms the inherent risk the proposed Kenosha Casino presents to the state’s taxpayers,” and argued the governor should continue to weigh “the legal exposure and potential negative budgetary implications” of approving the project.
The US Bureau of Indian Affairs must approve the compact amendment. If it does not, the state could be liable for losses to other tribes that would be caused by the Kenosha casino.
Governor Walker has until February 19 to make a decision on the project.