Under an agreement between the Potawatomi tribe and Governor Tony Evers, a Milwaukee hotel and casino has introduced a proposal to offer sports betting to the public. The Forest County Potawatomi will be able to legally offer event wagering on sports and non-sports events as a result.
The Department of the Interior will study the signed agreement for 45 days before it will go into effect. By the end of this year, the tribe hopes to launch a sports book venue at the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino to provide sports betting.
Similar agreements have been reached by Gov. Evers with the Oneida Nation and the St. Croix Chippewa Indians to enable sports betting at their casinos in Green Bay and in northwestern Wisconsin. Evers congratulated his Department of Administration, the tribe and Forest County Potawatomi chair Ned Daniels Jr. for working "to get this done so residents can enjoy sports and other event wagering in our state while supporting the tribe's economic growth."
"We appreciate Governor Evers and his administration working with us in a government-to-government manner to provide our tribe with the tools it needs to compete in the marketplace while also providing us with the business certainty we need to continue our investments in Milwaukee and across the state," Daniels said.
The deal extends the present cotract's tenure until 2061. On-site audits of casino operations are conducted by the Department of Administration's Office of Indian Gaming and Regulatory Compliance. According to the release, that agency will be in charge of ensuring regulatory compliance and the integrity of event wagering under the modified treaty.
The tribe reported a sharp drop in revenue attributed to the COVID-19 outbreak last summer, prompting the establishment of sports betting at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. The prize pool for 2020 is at least $292 million.
During the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2019, the tribe won more than $400 million from bets placed at its Milwaukee slot machines, off-track betting windows and a variety of table games such as poker, craps and blackjack. The Potawatomi and other tribes experiencing comparable decreases were forced to lay off personnel as a result of the revenue drop. The introduction of sports betting is what the tribe believes will keep their establishment afloat.