Menominee Tribe application for off-reservation casino approved

KENOSHA CO. (WITI) -- After extensive review, the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs on Friday, August 23rd, approved the Menominee Indian Tribe's application to open an off-reservation casino.

The proposed casino would be on the 228 acres of vacant land at the site of the former Dairyland Greyhound Track.

The Bureau says the Menominee Tribe "had an unmet need for economic development to supplement their tribal government services to their members."

Before moving forward, the proposal would need to be passed by Governor Scott Walker -- who had previously stated that all 11 tribes in Wisconsin would need to approve the plan before he would sign off on it.

In a statement, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said he encourages Governor Walker to reject the application because of "the projected job losses and economic harm it will have on Milwaukee."

Menominee Tribe estimates it will bring 2,300 new jobs and more than $35 million in new annual revenue for a group that calls itself "a very poor Wisconsin tribe."

Governor Walker will continue evaluating the casino using criteria previously laid out by his administration -- including no new net gaming, community support, and consensus among the 11 sovereign nations.

"I just don't see that happening right now," said Mayor Barrett. "Stranger things have happened, but I don't see it happening right now."

The Potawatomi Tribe believe Milwaukee would lose out if Governor Walker approves the Kenosha casino, however Menominee Tribe see Potawatomi as a monopoly.

Governor Walker will go through a 60-day tribal comment gathering period before approving or denying the casino application.