For the third consecutive day, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker released a written letter about his deliberations for a proposed Hard Rock Casino in Kenosha by the Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin.
Here is Walker’s statement today:
“On Monday and Tuesday, I shared with you detailed information about whether a casino would appear in Illinois if one was not approved in Kenosha, as well as additional information about the potential job gain or loss if the casino is approved in Kenosha. Today, I will explain my three criteria for approving any potential casino in Wisconsin.
“The criteria was announced more than two years ago on July 26, 2011, at the quarterly meeting between the representatives from all of the tribal governments in Wisconsin and me. Since then, there has been plenty of discussion and debate about the criteria at subsequent tribal meetings, at editorial board meetings at newspapers in Kenosha and Milwaukee, and in interviews with various other media outlets.
“The criteria was set in 2011, so there would be an objective way to measure any proposal, whether in Beloit, or Kenosha, or Shullsburg. The three items are simple: 1) Support from the community; 2) Consensus from the 11 tribal governments; and 3) No increase in overall gambling.
“These criteria were spelled out more than two years ago to allow any tribal government seeking a new off-reservation casino plenty of time to meet the criteria.
“Over the next several days, I will share information about each of the three criteria. Today, we will talk about support from the community.
“In 2004, voters in Kenosha County passed a referendum advising the Kenosha County Board of Supervisors to “support a proposal by the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin to operate an Indian Gaming Casino and Entertainment Center at Dairyland Greyhound Park in the City of Kenosha” by a vote of 56 percent to 44 percent. In 1998, the City of Kenosha passed a referendum supporting the proposed casino by a vote of 57 percent to 43 percent.
“In addition, support was received from Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser, City of Kenosha Mayor Keith G. Bosman, 19 members of the Kenosha County Board, 16 members of the Kenosha Common Council, 14 members of the state Legislature, and numerous community, civic, business, and labor leaders. Communications were also received from Kenosha County residents — including a group called Kenosha Coalition Against Legalized Gambling — opposed to the casino.
“At the same time, letters and statements expressing opposition to the casino were received from Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, Milwaukee County Treasurer Daniel J. Diliberti, City of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, 25 members of the state Legislature, and numerous community, civic, and business leaders. In addition, the Milwaukee County Board voted 19 to 1 on a resolution opposing the casino, and all 15 members of the Milwaukee Common Council voted unanimously on a resolution against the casino.
“Tomorrow, I will share more information about the consensus criteria. Thank you for taking the time to read this message.