Wisconsin Tribe Focuses on Building a Hard Rock Casino in Kenosha

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker turned down a Kenosha casino's tribal proposal in 2015. But this didn't kill the Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin's hope. Instead, they are now concentrating on developing a Hard Rock Casino.

Kenosha City and the tribe will meet in January to discuss the casino project. Ron Corn Sr., Menominee's Chairman stated in a media conference that they are still struggling. But the casino's revenue will greatly help the tribe.

Corn added that the Menominee Tribe of Kenosha has many unmet needs on the reservation about education, health, and housing. These are some issues that the government should address.

The extra income that the Hard Rock Casino will generate will help in satisfying these needs. But, constructing the casino won't be a walk in the park since it will be on non-tribal land. So, the tribe has to get the Federal government's approval first.

The Casino Plans Are Still on Course

Hard Rock and the Menominee Tribe have collaborated on the Kenosha casino proposal despite getting a blow after Walker rejected it in 2015. The two parties declared the renewed collaboration in July.

The United States gaming industry has drastically evolved in the past decade. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) appeal in 2018 transformed gaming. Besides, the public has given it more support of late.

Even so, new sports gambling and casino apps aren't a guarantee as Californians opposed several sports gambling proposals in November 2022. But the Menominee tribe's project has won the city leaders' support.

Reduced State Liability in the Project

The new project's scope favors the Wisconsin tribe as it is smaller than the 2015 proposal they presented. They want to construct the gaming site on 60 acres of land, a huge decrease from the over 200 acres they wanted it to occupy initially.

Many people who criticize new casino proposals dwell on increased crime and traffic. They advocate for better usage of city land and money to solve other problems thus making the reduced size Kenosha residents' selling point.

The Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau released a report in October 2022 indicating that the casino will minimize Wisconsin's liability unlike in the first proposal. The state would have paid the Citizen Potawatomi Nation $243 million if Kenosha Casino would have reduced Potawatomi's Milwaukee Casino's profit.

The 2018 compact that the Potawatomi and Wisconsin made removed this liability. The state's decreased liability might influence Walker to sign the casino proposal.

Kenosha Casino's Future

The Kenosha Hard Rock dream might take a while to materialize. The Menominee tribe has to agree with Kenosha and wait for years before the Federal government's Department of Interior allows it to use the target land.

Lawmakers believe that the casino's construction will kick off soon. Two Wisconsin senators, VanWanggaard and Bob Wirch, supported the tribe's plans due to reduced state liability. They stated that this is the right time for Gov. Walker to approve the casino project to boost the state's economy.


A sports enthusiast, Ryan helps cover sports betting news from around the country, highlighting some of the more interesting events going on in the USA.