After years of waiting, the Menominee tribe in Wisconsin received federal approval from the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs to buy the old Greyhound Dog Park, place it into a tribal trust, and use it for gaming and entertaining. There’s just one catch: federal approval is only given if Governor Scott Walker says okey dokey.
Governor Walker won’t be doing that any time soon if you ask me. The Potawatomi with their individual contributions and years of supporting whomever occupies the governor’s mansion (or at least throws a couple of parties a year there) pretty much guarantee the governor will balk at any competition against those who pad his account.
(Other names in those reports? Scott Fitzgerald, and to my surprise, Paul Farrow, and Willie Hines. Things that make you say hmmmmm…)
The Potawatomi don’t want competition. Gaming is stupendously big business and extraordinarily profitable. The Potawatami will do what they can to prevent the governor’s approval.
Of some interest is the way Potawatomi gained approval. It’s the Forest County Potawatomi who run the casino located (ironically) in the Menominee Valley. That wasn’t tribal land for them. I’m pretty sure they went through the same process now being used by the Menominee to win approval. Here’s a map of reservations in Wisconsin. Kind of a stretch, huh? More than 200 miles.
And so one has to wonder why what was so useful a tool to the Potawatomi can not be utilized for the Menominee. What the heck is Governor Walker thinking? Well this article says he’s laid three ultimatums.
Walker has said he has three standards for considering any new casino. The new gambling venue must result in “no new net gaming” in the state, must have community support and must have the approval of all the state’s other tribes. Walker plans to begin soon a 60-day period to gather comments from the tribes.
All of the tribes must agree to let the new kid play. Really Governor Walker? These are jobs sucking in Illinois money because of the location. And you want everyone to play nice in the sandbox before you’ll approve it? The Bureau offered this in its approval as quoted from The Business Journal:
The Forest County Potawatomi Community has had great success in operating its own casino in Milwaukee, which is located more than 210 miles from its reservation,” the agency stated in its decision. “The evidence in the record did not demonstrate that the Menominee Indian Tribe’s proposed gaming facility would have a detrimental impact on the 1500-member Forest County Potawatomi Community, beyond a modest short-term economic effect from competing with its existing gaming facility. The Forest County Potawatomi Community obtained its gaming facility in 1990 through the same process being used here for the Menominee tribe.
Now it could be that Governor Walker is going through the motions and will finally offer an approval, but his stated criterion doesn’t seem to indicate that as his plan. And the idea of “no new net gaming?” That’s like saying you can only build a new restaurant if all the other restaurants agree to less revenue. Plus, and I’ll say it once more just in case you missed it, the Kenosha location will service Metro Chicago very conveniently, and there’s money to be captured from the Land of Lincoln. Bless them, they are casino deprived in that state.
It could also be that Governor Walker is perfecting a do nothing stance in preparation for his Presidential bid. Because dang. That’s just what Wisconsin needs. A do-nothing Governor. But a do-nothing Governor Presidential candidate with his hand in a competing tribe’s pocket?
That’s bound to Pay Big.