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Forest County Potawatomi Tribe to sue BIA over gaming deal




The Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Photo from Facebook

The Forest County Potawatomi Community of Wisconsin plans to sue the Bureau of Indian Affairs for rejecting its Class III gaming compact.

The agreement would have required the state to compensate the tribe for losses from a rival casino. Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn, the head of the BIA, said the provision does not comply with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act but the Potawatomis disagree.

"The Potawatomi will be filing a lawsuit in federal court in the coming days and are confident this compact amendment will eventually become legally binding," Jeff Crawford, the tribe's attorney general, said in a statement.


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

The deal would have essentially made the Menominee Nation responsible for an estimated $100 million in losses. The Menominees are hoping to open an $800 million off-reservation casino in Kenosha that would compete with the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in Milwaukee, about 40 miles away.

The Menominees believe the rejection of the compact clears the way for Gov. Scott Walker (R) to approve the casino. He has until February 19 to make a decision.

Get the Story:
Menominee, Potawatomi Tribes At Odds Interpreting BIA Decision (WXPR 1/12)
Federal authorities deny Potawotami compact amendment (Wisconsin Election Watch 1/12)
Kenosha casino proposal: What's new, what's next (The Madison Capital Times 1/13)

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

Related Stories:
BIA rejects Forest County Potawatomi Tribe's gaming compact (1/12)
Editorial: Reject off-reservation casino for Menominee Nation (1/9)