The Menominee Nation has been trying for a number of years to obtain a casino license so it could construct its proposed Kenosha casino at the Dairyland Greyhound Park dog track. The tribe has faced hard times and believed that the Kenosha casino would provide them with steady revenue and raise the tribe’s economical status.
The biggest opposition to the proposed Kenosha casino came from the Potawatomi tribe who has their own casino in Milwaukee, about 30 miles away from the proposed Kenosha site.
The Potawatomi tribe had earlier made a deal with the Wisconsin government to be the only casino provider in southeastern Wisconsin and in return was paying the state government a premium fee. The Potawatomi tribe was concerned that the Kenosha casino would eat into its profits and hence opposed the project from the outset.
The Potawatomi tribe had also informed the state government that if it approves a Kenosha casino license, then it must be prepared to refund the premium fee that the tribe has paid over the years and compensate all losses incurred by its Milwaukee casino.
Gov. Scott Walker took a lot of time to go over the proposal and analyze all the facts and figures provided. In the end, Walker decided to not approve the Menominee Nation’s casino proposal and stated that it would jeopardize the state of Wisconsin as it would end up owing the Potawatomi tribe millions of dollars in repayment costs. The decision was a huge blow to the Menominee Nation as the tribe had placed a lot of hope on the construction of its Kenosha casino.
Peter Barca, a Kenosha Democrat and a Wisconsin Assembly Minority Leader did not agree with the Governor’s decision and said the decision would hurt Wisconsin as it would now lose hundreds of jobs and millions of tourists over the years. In a statement, Barca said
I think the governor failed basic economics. He should be coming to Kenosha and Racine this weekend and talking with us about how to make up for this colossal mistake
The Potawatomi tribe had held up over $25 million in payment to the Wisconsin government as it wanted the government to make a decision on the Kenosha casino before deciding to continue with its payment. Now, that a decision has been made, the tribe will look to remit the outstanding $25 million to the Wisconsin state government. Governor Walker is currently contemplating whether to throw his hat into the republican ring and give the 2016 presidential elections a run.