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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, January 27, 2023

Gov. Walker responds to new Kenosha Casino offer

Gov. Scott Walker responded in a letter to Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin Chairman Gary Besaw Monday, explaining his reasoning for rejecting the Menominee’s latest offer on the proposed Menominee-Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Kenosha.

The Menominee requested that Walker meet with them to discuss their offer to pay $220 million for a new Milwaukee Bucks’ arena and pay for a bond to cover legal defense fees as a counter to Walker’s initial rejection of the casino plan in January.

Menominee tribal members, who have been marching from the Menominee Indian reservation since Feb. 13, plan to hold a rally at the state Capitol Wednesday in protest of Walker’s decision.

“[The] Menominee never seriously discussed providing funding for a Bucks arena,” Walker said in a letter Monday. “There was an opportunity to bring forward a proposal and have it vetted by our team of independent economists, which was not done.”

For nearly a year and a half, negotiations between the Menominee and state officials, including Walker and Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch, have focused on the proposed Kenosha casino.

Potential lawsuits due to current gaming compacts enacted under former Gov. Jim Doyle posed a risk far too great for taxpayers, according to Walker.

“Even if the Menominee could acquire, finance, and legally execute the $275 million bond, it still would not fully cover the potential economic liability to the State,” Walker said in the letter.

Walker’s letter comes after Assembly Minority leader Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, penned a letter to Walker requesting a meeting with Kenosha officials during the governor’s jobs announcement at a local Kenosha business.

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