Editorial: Approve off-reservation casino for Ho-Chunk Nation

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

Wisconsin newspaper reverses stance and now supports an off-reservation casino for the Ho-Chunk Nation:
For years the Gazette’s editorial board opposed the Beloit proposal. Many casino jobs offer low pay, and easy access to gaming would create more habitual gamblers who pose problems for families, employers and society. Other businesses might be reluctant to open in a city with a casino.

Yet jobs have been to slow in coming to Rock County. In 2012, Beloit native Stephanie Klett, Walker’s tourism secretary, convinced us of a casino’s value. She has seen how casino complexes lifted the economies of Bayfield and Green Bay through jobs, tourism and spin-off developments.

Rock County draws vacationers, but many spend just a day or two before heading elsewhere. A casino complex that includes restaurants, live entertainment and a convention center could keep visitors here longer and push Rock County into Wisconsin’s top 10 for tourism.

The Ho-Chunk say they would invest upward of $200 million in the complex. It would create hundreds of construction jobs and between 1,000 and 2,000 permanent jobs, many going to nontribal members. It would generate local tax revenues, including Rock County’s share of casino profits.

Weighing all that, the complex is a gamble worth taking. Rock County could use that economic engine.

We hope federal officials and Gov. Walker see that, too.

Get the Story:
Editorial: Feds, Gov. Walker should go all in on Beloit casino (The Janesville Gazette 1/28)

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)

Related Stories
Ho-Chunk Nation's gaming compact authorizes another facility (1/27)

Join the Conversation