Architectural rendering of the proposed Ho-Chunk Nation casino in Beloit, Wisconsin. Image: Cuningham Group

Ho-Chunk Nation prepares for public hearing on casino project

The Ho-Chunk Nation is moving forward with plans for a $405 million off-reservation casino in Wisconsin.

As part of the process, the Bureau of Indian Affairs is holding a public hearing on the draft environmental impact statement for the project. The meeting takes place December 11 in Beloit, where the casino would be located.

“We’re going to continue to finalize the plan, the layout and all the design aspects of it,” tribal spokesperson Collin Price told The Janesville Gazette. “We’re confident that all the information, when looked at collectively, is a good thing for the nation and the community. We haven’t even considered a denial or some circumstances that would stop the project.”

The tribe is pursuing the project under the two-part determination provisions of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The law requires approval from the state governor in addition to the BIA.

Governor-elect Tony Evers, a Democrat, has previously promised to approve the project. He has not commented publicly on the issue since his victory on November 6 and his campaign did not respond to The Gazette when asked about the casino.

Beloit, which lies near the Wisconsin border with Illinois, is about 170 miles from headquarters in Black River Falls. The tribe maintains a governmental office and operates a gaming facility about 49 miles away in Madison.

The December 11 public hearing starts at 5pm. It will be held at the at the Aldrich Middle School auditorium, 1859 Northgate Drive, in Beloit.

The BIA is also taking written comments. They are due by December 24.

Read More on the Story
Ho-Chunk Nation hopeful federal government will grant approval for Beloit casino (The Janesville Gazette November 18, 2018)

Federal Register Notices
Notice of Availability of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Ho-Chunk Nation Fee-to-Trust and Casino Project, City of Beloit, Rock County, Wisconsin (November 9, 2018)
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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