The Menominee Tribe’s proposed off-reservation casino in Kenosha has been rejected by Governor Scott Walker.
The governor told the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Department of Interior Friday morning about his non-concurrence with the project. In a statement, Walker said “after a comprehensive review of the potential economic impact of the proposed Kenosha casino project, the risk to the state’s taxpayers is too great.”
The governor cited continued concerns about a previously negotiated compact with the Forest County Potawatomi, which operates a casino in Milwaukee. The tribe has indicated the state may owe them up to $100 million if the Kenosha project were to be approved, which Walker said would result in a huge hole in state finances.
The Menominee Tribe this week had signed a new compact with the state to address those potential financial losses. However, Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch had warned that the state could still face litigation if the project were to be approved.
The Menominee Tribe release a statement blaming the decision on the influence of the Potawatomi and Governor Walker’s presidential aspirations. Officials said they would be meeting with their partners at Hard Rock International in the coming days to explore their options.
Forest County Potawatomi Attorney General Jeff Crawford released a statement, saying they “agree with (the governor’s) determination that this project is not in the best interest of Wisconsin.”