Could allowing sports betting in Wisconsin impact lottery sales?

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MADISON Wis. (CBS 58) -- Sports betting could soon be allowed in Wisconsin after an agreement with the Oneida Nation, but would it be a bad deal for lottery sales? Officials don't think so.  

The deal to bring sports betting to Oneida casinos is pending approval from the federal government, but the likelihood of it become a reality doesn't have lottery officials too concerned.  

Peter Barca, secretary of the Department of Revenue, said while it's exciting news for sports fans it's "not necessarily a big money maker." 

"I still think it's enough different kind of game that we don't anticipate that it's really going to take away from the lottery," said Barca. 

Last year Wisconsin brought in over $900 million in lottery sales, according to Barca. In Illinois, where sports betting has been legal since March 2020, it's raised $53.3 million to date.  

While it would be welcomed revenue to the state, Barca said he's more concerned about the millions lost each year due to illegal gaming. 

"Hundreds of millions are leaving the state each year in illegal gaming going to the Cayman Islands and places like that," said Barca. "We're hoping over time to keep looking at options for Wisconsinites who have an interest and try and keep the money here." 

The goal is to eventually expand event wagering at other casinos if the deal is approved by U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs. 

A spokesman with the Potawatomi casino said they are "looking forward to bringing sports betting to Milwaukee in the future." 

The review process will take the federal government 45 days, and if approved, bets could be placed at Oneida casinos just in time for football season.  

The deal would not allow for wagering on college sports. It also only allows someone to place a bet if they are on tribal land owned by Oneida. 

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