The Kenosha City Council Grants Preliminary Approval to Menominee Indian Tribe’s Wisconsin Casino
After a meeting of the Kenosha City Council, the construction of the Menominee Indian Tribe’s Kenosha casino and hotel complex has been approved. The project is estimated to cost $350 million.
However, the approval was not without opposition. Some council members voted against the casino construction. Dave Mau, an Alderman, expressed concern about the city sanctioning the business venture. Kelly Mackay, another Alderman, voted against the casino due to his general disapproval of gambling. Alderwoman Holly Kangas, while supportive of the casino, criticized the speed at which the process was moving, citing concerns about transparency in government.
Alderman Dan Prozanski also expressed uncertainty about the final decision, considering Mayor John Antaramian’s proposal about the revenue share and how it would impact the city. The Mayor commented that the funds generated could be used for various purposes that the council has requested in the past.
Despite opposition, there are potential benefits to the collaboration with Menominees. The estimated revenue from the casino is expected to be between $12 and $15 million per year, which would greatly benefit the city and the county.
Gena Kakkak, the Chair of the Tribe, emphasized the importance of the project being beneficial to both the Tribe and the city of Kenosha. The Tribe, known as one of the poorest in the state, plans to use the much-needed funds to expand a health clinic, launch education initiatives, and modernize sawmills.
The final approval from the Council is expected on November 20th, with the county board set to discuss the deal soon after. The Tribe hopes to submit all required paperwork to the Bureau of Indian Affairs this year, with a decision expected six months from submission.
The proposal is also pending approval from Governor Evers, raising concerns due to the previous disapproval of the casino in 2015 by former Governor Scott Walker.
If approved by all parties involved, the casino will be run by Hard Rock International, with the tribe retaining ownership. The new casino will be located just west of Interstate 94, occupying approximately 60 acres of land and featuring a casino, hotel, restaurants, as well as theater and music components.
According to Kenosha News, out of 600 residents questioned about the casino, 60% were in favor of it, while 15% were against it.