Wisconsin casinos to lose over Ho-Chunk expansion

The expansion could draw approximately US$35 million from other tribal casinos.

US.- The Stockbridge-Munsee Band released a study that establishes that the expansion of the Ho-Chunk casino from Northern Wisconsin could affect significantly the economy of other tribal casinos in the state.

The study determines that the North Star Mohican Casino and Resort in Bowler, which is 17 miles away from Ho Chunk’s, would lose approximately US$22 million, a 37 percent of its annually revenue. Other four tribes could lose US$15 million at their nine casinos expanded all through Wisconsin. The Stockbridge-Munsee Band commented that they asked the state to intervene, since they believe the expansion is illegal because it violates the tribe’s casino compact with the state. The tribe signed an agreement with the state back in 2003, and Governor Walker stated in October that he doesn’t have the authority to intervene in the case because Ho-Chunk is staying within the compact.

Dennis Puzz, a Stockbridge-Munsee lawyer, said: ”We’re investigating all options going forward. If this goes forward, this is our lifeblood, this is our revenue source. If no one is going to step in and enforce the compact, we’re going to be forced to compete.” The Ho-Chunk tribe announced the US$33 million expansion in August 2016, Renovations to the casino at Wisconsin Dells include a new hotel main entrance and lobby, hotel bar, poker room, off-track betting area, a redesigned casino floor layout, expanded non-smoking casino area, a renovated bingo area and expanded buffet.