The current US casino industry in terms of most land-based venues remains closed for business. This is in response to slowing down the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. How long they will remained shuttered has yet to be determined. However, certain plans for the future keep moving forward despite the current unfavorable business conditions.
The Ho-Chunk Nation have been working on a casino and resort plan. These plans got a major boost late last week with federal approval. This moves the project one step closer to reality.
How Did The Beloit, Wisconsin Casino Project Receive Federal Approval?
The approval was for the site’s main campus and it marks a key accomplishment in the entire development process. The project received approval from the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). It is expected to be officially published in the Federal Register in the near future. This information was relayed by Ryan Greendeer. He is the Ho-Chunk Nation Public Information Officer.
The next step in the process is approval from Wisconsin’s governor. That office is held by Tony Evers. This will require a two-step determination of the project. This is required for gaming free-to-trust acquisitions.
The proposal would clear the way for the transfer of 33 acres of land into trust status. This is part of a total plot of 73.5 acres owned by Ho-Chunk Nation. The property is located near Willowbrook and Colley roads in Beloit. This is adjacent to Interstate 39/90 to the west of the highway. It sits almost directly across from the Beloit Travel Wisconsin Welcome Center.
If the governor approves the plan, the project will “be done in phases”. This was according to Mr. Greendeer. He also added that the governor has to accept the plan as a whole. Law does not provide for any line-item veto aimed at separate parts of the project. He stated that “Its either thumbs up or thumbs down.”
Back in February of 2018, Tony Evers was running for governor as the state superintendent of schools. At that point in time, he indicated he would approve the plan. As governor now, he said he would carefully review everything. His intention is to “ensure fair consideration” for all parties involved. There was no immediate comment from the state capital after the federal approval was announced.
The acting state governor was Scott Walker. Under his administration, it was determined that Ho-Chunk Nation was entitled to one more casino. This was in accordance with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act passed by Congress in 1988. The coincides with official documents obtained by this news source.
The full plan calls for a:
- Gaming casino
- Hotel accommodations
- A recreational water park
- Business conference center
- Adjacent retail space
Ho-Chunk Nation along with Beloit and Rock County officials are opting for the full plan as noted. The total project could employ as many as 1,500 workers. The assumption all along was for the all the components to be completed in separate phases.
• Source: Ho-Chunk Beloit casino plan receives federal approval From Beloitdailynews.com On April 16, 2020.