The Stockbridge-Munsee Community owns and operates the North Star Mohican Casino Resort in Bowler, Wisconsin. Photo: North Star Mohican Casino

Stockbridge-Munsee Band takes gaming dispute to appeals court

The Stockbridge-Munsee Community is trying to revive an inter-tribal gaming dispute in Wisconsin.

The tribe went to court after the Ho-Chunk Nation announced an expansion of one of its gaming facilities. But the tribe essentially lost the case when a federal judge said the lawsuit should have been filed sooner.

The case is now before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Oral arguments took place on Wednesday and the judges expressed skepticism of the tribe's efforts to revive it, Courthouse News Service reported.

“Isn’t the delay unreasonable, and isn’t the money the Ho-Chunk spent on the casino clear prejudice?” one judge asked, Courthouse News Service reported.

Indianz.Com on SoundCloud: Stockbridge-Munsee Community v. State of Wisconsin - 7th Circuit Court of Appeals - September 26, 2018

The Ho-Chunk Nation spent $41 million on the expansion at the casino in Wittenberg. The facility is about 16 miles from the North Star Casino Resort, operated by the Stockbridge-Munsee Community in nearby Bowler.

The Ho-Chunk Nation operates multiple casino on its homelands in Wisconsin. Its Class III gaming compact defines Wittenberg as an "ancillary" facility, meaning "fifty percent of more of the lot coverage of the trust property" is to be used for non-gaming purposes.

The judge assigned to the case did not reach a decision on whether the expansion impacts the "ancillary" provision, however. Instead, the judge determined that the Stockbridge-Munsee Community should have filed its lawsuit by 2014, or six years after Wittenberg originally opened.

The tribe didn't go to court until April 2017. The Ho-Chunk Nation was dismissed from the case later that year.

Turtle Talk has posted documents from the appeal, Stockbridge-Munsee Community v. State of Wisconsin and Ho-Chunk Nation.

Read More on the Story
Indian Casino Dispute Flounders at Seventh Circuit (Courthouse News Service September 26, 2018)

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