Ho-Chunk Nation still pushing off-reservation casino in Wisconsin

A conceptual design of the proposed Ho-Chunk Nation off-reservation in Beloit, Wisconsin. Image: Ho-Chunk Nation The Ho-Chunk Nation is renewing its off-reservation casino project in Wisconsin amid change in Washington, D.C.

The tribe met with the Bureau of Indian Affairs to discuss whether the environmental impact statement would still move forward once Republican president-elect Donald Trump takes office, The Beloit Daily News reported. The tribe is also asking local and state officials to reaffirm their support for the project, the paper said.

“What we don’t want to happen is the project getting hurt by federal bureaucracy,” Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wisconsin), whose district includes the casino site in Beloit, told the paper.

The BIA, though, has already fallen behind its anticipated schedule regardless of the transition in Washington, D.C. The environmental review began in November 2012 but a draft was never issued.

Even if the BIA approves the project after Trump comes on board, the tribe has to clear another major hurdle. The state governor's concurrence is required under the two-part determination provisions of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

The last two-part determination application in Wisconsin was for the Menominee Nation. It was rejected by Gov. Scott Walker (R) in January 2015.

Read More on the Story:
Casino interests start to deal again (The Beloit Daily News 1/2

An Opinion:
Editorial: An opening for a tribal casino? (The Beloit Daily News 12/21)

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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