The Ho-Chunk Nation
thinks it can open an off-reservation in Wisconsin in four years even though there's been little movement on the federal level.
A pamphlet distributed by the tribe anticipates final approval in 2018, The Beloit Daily News reported. Construction could start in 2020 and the casino would open in the following year, the paper said.
The project enjoys strong local support. But the Bureau of Indian Affairs
hasn't advanced the environmental impact statement
beyond a scoping report
released in January 2013.
The tribe is pursuing the casino under the two-part determination provisions of the Indian
Gaming Regulatory Act
. The law requires approval by the state governor in
addition to the BIA.
But even if the state and the BIA agree, there's still one more step in the process
-- the casino site must be placed in trust. Secretary Ryan Zinke
the leader of the Department of the
, has ordered such decisions to be made by political officials in Washington, D.C.
rather than at the local level.
Jim Cason, the Associate Deputy Secretary at the department, has repeatedly said such acquisitions will be subjected to additional scrutiny.
He already rejected two off-reservation applications in neighboring Michigan
, citing the long distances between a tribe's headquarters and the proposed gaming sites.
In the case of the Ho-Chunks, their headquarters are more than 170 miles from the site in Beloit, though the tribe maintains a governmental office about 49 miles away in Madison.
The Trump administration also has added an off-reservation land-into-trust rule
to its regulatory agenda for the coming year.
Read More on the Story:
Ho-Chunk increases presence as casino plan advances
(The Beloit Daily News August 8, 2017)
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Nation sees more support for off-reservation casino in Wisconsin
Nation remains hopeful for off-reservation casino in Wisconsin
Nation still pushing off-reservation casino in Wisconsin