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Wisconsin Tribal Gaming

Since the passage of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) in 1988, Wisconsin's tribes have been allowed to operate casinos. The tribes must be federally recognized and have Class III compacts with the state.

In November 2004, Kenosha County voters approved an advisory referendum to allow construction of an Indian casino on the site of the Dairyland Greyhound Park, which closed on 31 December 2009, after years of steadily escalating losses. The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin tried to get permission to build an off-reservation casino at Dairyland from 2010 to 2014, but consistent opposition from Gov. Scott Walker prevented the development of the site. In 2015, the owners of Dairyland began looking for a new buyer.

In January 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court denied an appeal from three tribes challenging the governor's authority to block them from acquiring St. Croix Meadows dog track and turning it into an off-reservation casino.

In 2006, the Wisconsin Supreme Court rejected a constitutional challenge to the state's gaming compacts. The ruling stated that the compacts were still valid in spite of an amendment made in 1993 that constitutionally limited gaming.

In January 2008, the Ho-Chunk Nation filed a suit against Gov. Jim Doyle, claiming he had no authority to negotiate gaming compacts that were later rejected by the state's high court. The suit was part of an ongoing dispute between the state and the tribe over $72 million the state claims the tribe owes in accordance with its compact. The tribe wanted the court to declare that the agreement with Gov. Doyle was not valid so the compact would be unenforceable. In July 2008, Judge Barbara Crabb ordered a second arbitration and in September 2008, the state and the Ho-Chunk Nation settled on a new 25-year gaming compact, which includes a payment of $60 million to the state to settle old claims.

In October 2015, the Ho-Chunk Nation was granted permission to run an electronic poker game at its Madison casino after winning a lawsuit against the Wisconsin Department of Justice when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case, upholding the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the game was legal.

Wisconsin Tribal Gaming Properties

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