Sports betting at Potawatomi facilities; Gov. Evers signs deal

Sports betting is a big step closer to coming to Milwaukee after Gov. Tony Evers reached an agreement with Potawatomi on Friday, Feb. 18.

The new agreement now heads to the U.S. Department of the Interior for a 45-day review. After that, when people will actually be able to place bets will depend on how long it takes to finalize the rules and set everything else up. 

Wisconsin is rolling the dice on the latest trend. The American Gaming Association said sports betting revenues jumped 177% across the U.S. from 2020 to 2021.

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"It’s a form of wagering that’s becoming extremely popular," said Ryan Amundson, a Potawatomi Hotel & Casino spokesperson.

Oneida Casino in Green Bay became the first casino in Wisconsin to offer it in November 2021. The agreement Evers signed Friday expands sports betting to Forest County Potawatomi Tribe facilities.

Potawatomi Hotel & Casino

"I think it’s going to draw a different audience to the casino as well. I think we might see a younger audience here at Potawatomi placing their bets on their favorite teams," Amundson said.

The casino is working on finalizing exact rules with the state. At Oneida, betting is allowed on professional sports, Olympics, award shows and collegiate sports – but not on Wisconsin college teams.

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"There will be a sports book on site," said Amundson. "Where that is and what it looks like – those are details we’ll be releasing in the coming weeks and months."

An exact start date for Milwaukee sports betting is unclear, but the sports book is expected to be in place before the Green Bay Packers' next playoff run. In addition, the amendment extends the term of the current compact to 2061. 

Currently, 30 states and Washington D.C. now offer legal sports betting markets.

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