Wisconsin reaches new deal with Potawatomi, ending dispute

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Potawatomi Hotel & Casino

MADISON — Gov. Scott Walker’s administration has reached a deal with the Forest County Potawatomi Tribe reducing how much the state would have to pay if a casino would open near the Potawatomi’s casino in Milwaukee.

The agreement released Tuesday by Walker’s administration would resolve an issue that’s been in dispute for 15 years. It’s subject to approval by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs.

A previous proposed contract would have made the state liable for more than $500 million if a competing casino were built within 50 miles of the Potawatomi casino in Milwaukee. That was rejected by the BIA in 2015.

The new deal limits liability to $250 million if a new casino is approved and the Potawatomi lose money at their Milwaukee casino.

Walker in 2015 rejected a request from the Menominee Nation to build an off-reservation casino in Kenosha, about 30 miles from the Potawatomi casino.

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