Ho-Chunk Nation urges judge to reject casino lawsuit

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MADISON — The Ho-Chunk Nation is urging a federal judge to reject a rival tribe’s lawsuit tribe seeking to halt the Ho-Chunk’s plans to expand a northern Wisconsin casino.

The Ho-Chunk wants to add games, a restaurant and a hotel to its Wittenberg casino. The Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans fears the development will hurt its casino about 20 miles away.

The Stockbridge-Munsee filed a federal lawsuit in April arguing the Ho-Chunk’s compact allows only an ancillary facility in Wittenberg and the land wasn’t placed into trust until 1993. Federal law prohibits gambling on trust land acquired after 1988.

The Ho-Chunk filed a brief Thursday arguing the expansion is permitted under its compact and the Stockbridge-Munsee shouldn’t be allowed to interfere with a competitor’s operations.

A Stockbridge-Munsee spokeswoman didn’t immediately return a message.