Gov. May Put Off Casino Decision Until After Election

Gov. Scott Walker

by Heather Asiyanbi

Governor Scott Walker might put off a decision about the proposed Kenosha casino until after the Nov. 2014 election.

In a story from the JSOnline – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch said the state has hired lawyers and an advisor to examine the issue, which could take some time.

The Menominee tribe want to build a casino at the old Dairyland dog racing site, and it was approved in August by the Department of the Interior. Walker said he would only give his okay if the new casino had the support of the community, didn’t increase net gambling in the state and the remaining Wisconsin tribes also approved.

Elected officials in both Kenosha and Racine counties have made it clear to the governor and his administration that residents approve, but both the Ho-Chunk and Potawatomi have made their objections known.

The governor has a year from when the federal government approved the project, but both the state and the Menominee can request a six-month extension, the story reads.

“I think it would be wise at this point to at least consider it,” Huebsch is quoted as saying. “This is not a decision we should have to rush to at the eleventh hour.”

He denied that the upcoming election plays any role in the potential new timeline, but also noted that Walker would get criticized no matter what because it’s an election year.

The newspaper goes on to say that Walker may have been leaning more toward vetoing the project, but then the Seminole Tribe of Florida and their Hard Rock International joined forces with the Menominee, giving the casino more credibility.

As for where the Menominee stand on the delay in a decision, Chairman Craig Corn said he’s okay with it if that means getting to the decision in the right way.

In the application paperwork, the Menominee say the new casino will create 5,000 direct and indirect jobs; 500 jobs at the casino have been promised to Racine County residents.

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