Dairyland will close, tribe still hopes for casino

Dairyland Greyhound Park in Kenosha will close at the end of this year.

The dog track opened in 1990. It is the last dog track operating in Wisconsin. The dog tracks in the state struggled to compete with casinos operated by American Indian tribes. Dairyland has lost millions of dollars in recent years.

"It’s a sad day for the Dairyland family and Kenosha community," said Dairyland executive vice president Roy Berger. "We looked at every opportunity to apply for racing dates in 2010, but there was no longer a way to remain a viable entity … The gaming landscape in the state has been slanted against pari-mutuel racing from the inception of Native American casinos. It has been virtually impossible for us to compete fairly. Every time we asked the legislature or state gaming officials for consideration with games to help make us competitive, we have been rebuked. Finally, we have reached the point after seven years of steading escalating losses where we just can’t see any viability with a single out of favor product and have been forced to make this decision."

The closure of the track will eliminate 180 jobs.

The Menominee Indian tribe has been trying for years to establish a casino and entertainment complex at Dairyland, but the project has not received approval from federal officials. The Menominee tribe has filed a lawsuit in federal court that seeks to overturn the U.S. Department of the Interior’s decision to block the tribe from building a casino at Dairyland. The Menominee tribe still has an option to purchase the property and is waiting to see what the result is of its legal challenge, said spokesman Evan Zeppos.

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