Ho-Chunk Nation remains confident of off-reservation casino bid

A conceptual design of the proposed Ho-Chunk Nation off-reservation in Beloit, Wisconsin. Image from Good for Beloit

The Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin remains hopeful that its off-reservation casino will win federal and state approval.

The tribe is pursuing a casino in Beloit. The 33-acre site is about 50 miles from the tribe's nearest gaming facility in Madison but the land is considered Ho-Chunk territory.

Still, the tribe will need to clear two major hurdles. The Bureau of Indian Affairs is reviewing the project under the two-part determination provisions of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, meaning the state governor will have final say.

The BIA is preparing an environmental impact statement for the casino. However, a draft hasn't been issued even though a notice was put out more than two years ago.

According to The Beloit Daily News, the BIA was apparently waiting for Gov. Scott Walker (R) to make a decision on the off-reservation casino for the Menominee Nation before moving forward. Now that Walker has rejected the $800 million casino in Kenosha, the Ho-Chunks anticipate some action soon.

“We were relieved that there was a decision made,” Ho-Chunk President Jon Greendeer told The Beloit Daily News. “We are glad that this has been finalized and it does give us the prospects of moving forward.”

Get the Story:
Ho-Chunk confident in Beloit casino plan (The Beloit Daily News 1/25)
Walker rejects Menominee request for Kenosha casino (The Janesville Gazette 1/25)

Federal Register Notice:
Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Ho-Chunk Nation Beloit Casino Project, City of Beloit, Rock County, WI (November 26, 2012)

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