Governor Wants Potawatomi, Menominee To Collaborate On Casino

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Gov. Scott Walker says that he hopes the Forest County Potawatomi and Menominee Tribes can collaborate on a proposed casino in Kenosha.

After the federal government announced Friday that it will back the Menominee’s efforts to build an off-reservation casino in Kenosha, Walker’s office issued a reminder. Walker said he’d veto the Kenosha gaming plan if it increased net gaming in the state and at least one Wisconsin tribe opposed the project.

Now Walker says maybe the main presumed opponent – the Forest County Potawatomi, who own a Milwaukee casino – and the Menominee can find a way to work together.

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Walker says he would rather the burden not be on him “to play King Solomon and pick and choose between two well-respected entities here in Wisconsin.”

Walker says if the federal government would also approve another tribe’s proposed casino in northeastern Illinois, it would make sense for the Menominee and Potawatomi to work together.

At a state Capitol news conference, Menominee Tribal Chairman Craig Corn said he’d like to work with the Potawatomi. “We’re prepared to sit down with them tomorrow if need be – tonight if need be – to discuss exactly what it is they can’t get past.”

Democratic and Republican state lawmakers from the Racine-Kenosha area joined Corn at the news conference. The Menominee have also sent the Potawatomi a letter, offering to let the Potawatomi develop and manage a Kenosha casino.

The Potawatomi released a statement in response, saying:

“It’s disappointing that the Menominee would release details of their correspondence only hours after sending it to the Forest County Potawatomi tribal leadership. Good governments and smart businesses that really want to achieve mutually beneficial goals do not begin those discussions by communicating via press leaks.”

Update: Craig Corn has responded to the Potawatomi in a statement of his own, calling the Potawatomi’s decision to respond to the Menominee with a critical press release”disappointing.” You can read the entire statement below:

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