Governor expected to make decision on Kenosha casino soon

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by Lane Kimble

MADISON -- Many are awaiting the decision of Governor Scott Walker about a proposed casino in Kenosha run by the Menominee tribe. Today, the Menominee tribe had a chance to make their final plea to Governor Walker.

Governor Walker gave the tribe 60 days to meet three criteria, no new net gaming, community support, consensus among all 11 Wisconsin tribes.

So far the Menominee have met two of three requirements. Both the Potawatomi and Ho-Chunk tribes have yet to support the building of a new casino in Kenosha.

You could sense the frustration from Menominee Tribal Chairman Craig Corn in Madison after meeting with the Governor.

"I got a letter yesterday or e-mail from the Forest County Potawatomi saying they're not interested in talking, and I have not heard back from Ho-Chuck. But we keep trying," says Chairman Corn.

The Menominee offered to pay significantly more than its standard 7.5% from casino profits to the state. That would off-set any profit losses the other tribes would suffer.

Hard Rock International Chair Jim Allen warned tribes without casinos, they could lose profit without the chance to get it back.

The State of Illinois has become a part of the casino debate. An Illinois state committee is looking into adding more casinos to the state.

"There will be competition, make no mistake about it, let's just make sure that Wisconsin reaps the benefits," Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca said.

The Kenosha Democrat believes the Menominee has done its job, now it's up to the Governor.

"We're banking on the governor showing the kind of leadership we expect from governors in this state to find a way to get it done," says Barca.

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