Remember way back when, the Menomonee tribe wanted to take over the abandoned dog racing track in Kenosha and turn it into a casino? And the unintimidated governor of Wisconsin, one Scott Walker, couldn’t seem to make up his mind on whether to approve it or not? Took like forever to decide? And he finally said he wanted a consensus from the other tribes? When instead of a consensus what he really wanted was a unanimous vote from the other tribes…which of course he wasn’t going to get…because the market competition was certainly going to hurt the Potawatomi Casino in Milwaukee. So it never happened. A loss to job growth in Kenosha and Wisconsin.

Well now the Stockbridge-Munsee tribe is complaining about an expansion of a neighboring Ho-Chunk casino which is about 15 miles from the Stockbridge-Munsee casino. And certainly the expanded Ho-Chunk casino will negatively impact the Stockbridge-Munsee facility.

A recent market study funded by the Stockbridge concluded the tribe would lose more than $22 million a year if the Ho-Chunk completes the plans for its casino in Shawano County northwest of Green Bay. Casino revenue is the main source of money the Stockbridge use to provide services.

The Ho-Chunk opened the Wittenberg casino in 2008 as an “ancillary facility” that the tribe is allowed to have under a compact it reached with then-Gov. Jim Doyle in 2003. Last September, the Ho-Chunk began a $33 million project to add a hotel, 250 new slot machines and table games.

The Stockbridge and other tribes contend such an extensive upgrade is not allowed for what is supposed to be a secondary casino. What’s more, the Stockbridge argue, the Ho-Chunk land isn’t eligible for a casino of any type under federal law.

So far, the state has sided with the Ho-Chunk and allowed the expansion to continue.

So…this is small potatoes compared to the Kenosha deal…the Stockbridge-Munsee don’t have the clout that the Potawatomi have…and Governor Walker is running for re-election, not for president this go round. But just out of a sense of fair play…you’d think that what is good for the Potawatomi should be good for the Stockbridge-Munsee!

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