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Menominee delivers plan for Kenosha casino to Madison

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MADISON (WITI) -- The Menominee Indian Tribe delivered its plan for the Kenosha casino to the state capitol on Tuesday, October 22nd. The tribe will go over those plans with Gov. Scott Walker on Wednesday morning.

The Potawatomi operate a casino in Milwaukee -- and they're building a new hotel. The last thing they want to see is a drop in business. They're worried that's what will happen if a new casino is built just 40 miles to the south.

But in a statement released on Tuesday, the chairmen of the Menominee Tribe says he's optimistic the Potawatomi will sign on, saying "the benefits of a Kenosha casino would be too good to turn down."

State Rep. Samantha Kerkman says she's hoping for an 11th hour agreement between all of the state's indian tribes.

"This is a regional casino -- not just one county's going to be affected by this," said Kerkman. "I think this will be an economic benefit to everybody."

Gov. Walker laid out three criteria for approving an off-reservation casino at the old Dairyland Greyhound Park in Kenosha. First, no new net gaming. Second, all eleven of Wisconsin's tribes must reach consensus. Third, Kenosha as a community must support the idea.

Milwaukee Rep. Evan Goyke is fighting the casino. He says it could cost Milwaukee both jobs and revenue.

"Unanimous agreement to this project -- and I don't think we're going to see that," said Goyke.

Consensus remains the toughest hurdle. As of Tuesday, eight of the 11 tribes are on board with the plan. But the Potawatomi and the Ho-Chunk tribes do not support it.

The Potawatomi worries the Kenosha plan could take jobs and revenue -- and the Ho-Chunk is pursuing its own casino plan in Beloit.

"My sense is that the governor is going to deny the Menominee tribe the right to have a casino in Kenosha.  I think there is not consensus among the state tribes to allow a casino in Kenosha," said Goyke.

Tuesday was the deadline for the Menominee to submit a plan to Gov. Walker. He says a decision will be made by the end of the week.

"Today's announcement -- or giving the Menominee's until Friday now to help build consensus over the next few days is very promising," said Kerkman.

The leaders of the Menominee tribe and Hard Rock will meet with Gov. Walker on Wednesday at the Capitol.

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