Wisconsin tribe files lawsuit against the state

The Stockbridge-Munsee threatens to withhold around US$1 million over Wisconsin’s permission to another tribe to develop a class III gambling venue.

US.- Wisconsin’s Stockbridge-Munsee tribe has filed a federal lawsuit against the state of Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker and the Ho-Chunk Nation after the state allowed said tribe to expand its gambling venue east of Wausau. The Stockbridge-Munsee are threatening to withhold about US$1 millon from the state as they plea that it violates its compact by not protecting its interests and rights by permiting another tribe to develop a class III gambling facility near its casino.

There was also a request to a federal judge to block the Wittenberg casino expansion until the legal actions are resolved. Prior to this lawsuit, Ho-Chunk’s facility was also in dispute as it wasn’t allowed to include a restaurant, hotel or table games prior to the renegotiation of tribal compacts in 2003.

The Stockbridge-Munsee’s are worried as their only casino, North Star Mohican Casino Resort, is farther from Wausau than the Ho-Chunk Wittenberg facility and this might negatively affect its revenues. The loss is estimated to be of around US$22 million, according to a study commisioned by the Stockbridge-Munsee tribe.

The state Department of Administration determined that the Ho-Chunk casino expansion didn’t violate the compacts. After that, the Stockbridge-Munsee informed the state it would withhold a US$923 thousand payment because of the claim and urged to start a resolution process. Both parts had a meeting but there wasn’t an agreement and that resulted in the lawsuit.

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