Support for Beloit Casino

By: Max Seigle
By: Max Seigle

The battle over developing this corn field into a casino turns in favor of the Bad River and St. Croix Chippewa tribe of Wisconsin. "The Ho-Chunk said you didn't follow the letter of the law. Therefore everything has to start over. The federal government in Washington looked at everything and said it has been done properly," said Tribal Spokesman Joseph Hunt. The federal decision is a big relief for Hunt and his tribe. They've been targeted by the Ho-Chunk nation, who took their fight against the Beloit casino project to the airwaves earlier this year. But now the Department of the Interior says those allegations aren't true. Specifically that they inadquately reviewed the land's historic ties on casino application. Hunt says the application review on developing this land into casino halted when the protest from the Ho-Chunk began in Janurary. With the recent decision, the project gets back on track in Washington, but he's not sure when final approval could come "I've given up guessing. We just know this is our only way to accomplish our goal," Hunt said. The decision was good news for the city of Beloit. Leaders there initially contacted the tribes about a casino in the late 90's. "This is a huge economic engine for the city of beloit. The casino alone will bring 3000 jobs," City Manager Larry Arft said. He adds the city will continue to lobby for the casino. Meantime, the tribal leaders hope, that with one less obstacle in the way, their dreams for this cornfield remain intact. Right now, the casino application is with the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington. There are still two more rounds of consideration after that agency reviews the plans. One is from the Secretary of Interior; the other, the Govenor of Wisconsin.


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