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“Creative solution” considered regarding Kenosha casino

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SHEBOYGAN (WITI) -- Gov. Scott Walker says he won't be rushed in making a decision on the proposed Kenosha casino. In fact, he says the decision may surprise people.

For weeks, southeastern Wisconsin has been waiting for a "yes" or "no" on the Kenosha casino.

On Wednesday, November 6th during an appearance in Sheboygan, Gov. Scott Walker had a third answer.

"I guess that's the surprise, people thought it was either going to be be absolutely yes or absolutely no.  It may be something somewhere in between," Gov. Walker said.

Gov. Walker says he is considering an alternative "creative solution," but isn't ready to release details.

"Hopefully in the near future, we'll be able to talk about the parameters of that, the next step in getting there, but it's still going to take me a few more days to get to that," Gov. Walker said.

Gov. Walker has been under pressure from both sides.

The Menominee Indian Tribe has proposed an $800 million Hard Rock casino on the old Dairyland Greyhound Park site -- a project that could create as many as 5,000 jobs.

"What I've heard from most people is, 'can't you find a way to make this work?'" Gov. Walker said.

On the other side, the Potawatomi Tribe is opposed to the Kenosha plan because they feel it will take business and jobs from their casino in Milwaukee -- a concern shared by Mayor Barrett.

"For me, this has always been about jobs, because we've got many people who rely on these jobs in the city of Milwaukee," Mayor Barrett said.

Political consultant Chris Haworth says Gov. Walker's decision could have ramifications in his own party.

"If I was betting on this, I would say yes. He's leaning toward yes. I think he has a lot more to explain if he says no than if he says yes," Haworth said.

Gov. Walker has set out three criteria for his approval of the plan -- no overall increase in gaming, consensus among the 11 tribes and community support. Now, he is adding a fourth consideration -- the impact on jobs.

"I certainly find an appeal with the jobs in Racine and Kenosha, particularly because Racine and Kenosha are in need of more jobs," Gov. Walker said.

Gov. Walker said at the earliest, he could have an announcement in a few days -- but he emphasized that legally, he has no strict deadline to follow, and he wants to take his time to find the right solution.