BIA rejects Forest County Potawatomi Tribe's gaming compact

The hotel at the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Photo from thisisemilyida / Instagram

The Bureau of Indian Affairs rejected a Class III gaming compact that would have required the state of Wisconsin to compensate the Forest County Potawatomi Community for losses associated with a rival casino.

Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn said the provision goes against the intent of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. It would have held the Menominee Nation responsible for the losses.

"We have never been presented with a compact or amendment that goes so far as to attempt to guarantee the continued profitability of one tribe's casino at the expense of another tribe," Washburn said in a letter to the Forest County Potawatomi Community.

The BIA's decision could clear the way for Gov. Scott Walker (R) to approve an $800 million off-reservation casino in Kenosha for the Menominees. The Potawatomis oppose the development and have threatened to sue the Obama administration for rejecting the compact.

“The Potawatomi are confident that it will be re-instated by the courts," Potawatomi Attorney General Jeff Crawford said in a statement quoted by The Kenosha News.

Artist's rendering of the proposed Menominee Nation off-reservation casino. Image from Casino Kenosha

Walker has until February 19 to decide on the Menominee project. It would be located about 40 miles from the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in Milwaukee, which itself is an off-reservation casino.

Get the Story:
Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs rejects amendment to Wisconsin’s compact with Potawatomi (WITI 1/9)
Bureau of Indian Affairs rejects compact amendment between state, Potawatomi (WISN 1/9)
Video: Rejection of amendment may be good for Kenosha (WISN 1/9)
Feds reject deal linked to Kenosha casino (Fox 11 News 1/9)
Casino compact amendment tossed (The Kenosha News 1/10)
Bureau of Indian Affairs rejects deal for state to cover Potawatomi losses (The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 1/10)

Bureau of Indian Affairs Documents:
Press Release | Fact Sheet: Menominee Nation Decision | Section 20 Determination: Menominee Nation Off-Reservation Casino

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Editorial: Reject off-reservation casino for Menominee Nation (1/9) BIA ruling on Forest County Potawatomi Tribe compact expected (1/7)

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