KENOSHA (WITI) — While a decision on the new Kenosha casino is still up in the air, on Friday, November 1st Governor Scott Walker discussed one of three key factors that will help him determine whether to approve or deny the Menominee Tribe’s request — no new net gaming.
“The Menominee have laid out a very aggressive proposal,” said Gov. Walker. “There’s so much information of so many questions that not only I had, but others had.”
In a statement, Gov. Walker says he’s still trying to decide whether or not replacing the Dairyland Greyhound Park with a new casino, which generates significantly more money, represents an increase in net gaming.
“I want to make sure that the jobs are a net increase, not just a transfer, from one part of the state to the other,” said Gov. Walker.
The group Enough Already, which opposes the project, feels that factor alone constitutes new net gaming for Wisconsin.
“Using any viable analysis, the Kenosha off-reservation proposal is an exponential net-increase in gaming both in terms of revenue and also in gaming offerings,” said Brian J. Nemoir Executive Director of Enough Already.
UW-Milwaukee Governmental Affairs Professor Mordecai Lee says he believes the delay is Gov. Walker’s way of making a careful decision while sticking to his principles.
“If there’s one thing Gov. Walker showed us during Act 10, it was that when he makes a decision, or when he has decision criteria, he sticks with it,” said Lee.
Lee predicts Gov. Walker will make his decision next Friday.
“If I had to bet a nickel, I would bet that he’s going to turn it down,” said Lee.
The biggest hurdle facing the Menominee in the decision continues to be tribal consensus. The Potawatomi and Ho-Chunk Tribes fear the Kenosha casino would take away jobs and revenue.
The Menominee Tribe says to ensure there will be no new net gaming at the Kenosha casino, they will close their existing casino in the far northeastern part of the state.
Gov. Walker has not said when he will make a final decision.