Governor won't rethink Menominee Nation off-reservation casino

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

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) rejected calls to reconsider his denial of an off-reservation casino for the Menominee Nation.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers asked Walker to give the $800 million casino in Kenosha a second chance before a February 19 deadline. But he reiterated his position that the project would cause the state to lose its share of revenue from an existing gaming facility.

“I had a hundred million reasons I had to say no,” Walker told reporters on Wednesday, Wisconsin Radio Network reported. “That would cost us, if I had approved the casino ... about $100 million right now, and potentially two to three to four times that in the future.”

The Bureau of Indian Affairs approved the casino under the two-part determination provisions of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The law gave Walker the final say over the project.

Since IGRA became law in 1988, only three tribes have successfully opened casinos under the two-part determination process. One is the Forest County Potawatomi Community, whose leaders vehemently opposed the Menominee Nation casino.

The Potawatomis operate the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in Milwaukee. Walker claims the tribe's Class III gaming compact includes provisions that punish the state if a rival facility opens within 50 miles -- Kenosha is about 40 miles away.

Get the Story:
Walker says he won’t reconsider Kenosha casino decision (WRN 1/29)
Walker stands by casino denial (The Kenosha News 1/29)
Legislators call for Walker to reconsider casino (The Racine Journal Times 1/29)
State lawmakers want Walker to reconsider Kenosha casino (WISN 1/28)
Bipartisan plea: Lawmakers ask Gov. Walker to reconsider Kenosha casino (WITI 1/28)
Local state legislators sign letter to governor urging more time for casino decision (West of the I 1/28)

Some Opinions:
Editorial: Casino backers aren’t giving up (The Kenosha News 1/29)
Steve Lund: If you believe that ... (The Kenosha News 1/29)

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

Related Stories
Opinion: Decision on Menominee Nation casino makes no sense (1/28)
Editorial: Presidential politics derailed off-reservation casino bid (1/27)
Governor rejects Menominee Nation off-reservation gaming plan (1/23)

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