Kenosha County Board Approved Wisconsin Hard Rock Casino Proposal

Written By Katarina Vojvodic on January 22, 2024
Kenosha, WI Hard Rock Casino Rendering

In a vote of 10-9, the Kenosha County Board of Supervisors approved a proposal for a Hard Rock Casino on Jan. 17.

The Menominee tribe would operate the Wisconsin casino on land that the city of Kenosha would own. The proposed casino area is on County Highway K off I-94, where it’s currently farmland.

Apart from the casino, the plan includes 150 hotel rooms, restaurants, a ballroom and a 2,000-seat auditorium.

Kenosha needs an entertainment venue, supporter Rodriguez says

Earlier this month, the city approved a proposal from the Menominee Tribe to build a Hard Rock hotel and casino west of Interstate 94 off the Highway 50 exit.

To operate, the Wisconsin casino must be on land federally labeled as a tribal reservation. It also needs approval from the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs and Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers.

According to a WISN 12 News articleZach Rodriguez, who voted for the proposal, said:

“We’ve heard forever we need an entertainment venue. Why is there no entertainment venue? They’re coming to us, and they’re not only saying we’re bringing you an entertainment venue, we’re going to pay you. We’re going to help you address the challenges that your community faces.”

Zach Stock, who voted against the proposal, said: “The only way this land could ever come out of this trust is if gambling ceases for 365 consecutive days. That’s it. That’s a big deal, and that’s going to have a long-term impact on Kenosha County.”

What would a Wisconsin casino bring to Kenosha?

The Menominee tribe shared a document associated with the casino proposal with FOX6 News earlier this month. As described, the gaming venue will feature:

  • 1,500 slot machines
  • Estimated 50 table games
  • Restaurants
  • Bars

The proposal also suggests a 150-room Hard Rock Hotel, a Hard Rock Cafe and a 2,000-seat Hard Rock Live venue.

According to the document, the casino project would cost $360 million and create nearly 1,000 construction jobs over 18 months. Once it starts, the project would employ about 1,000 people, with around $54,000 average full-time pay.

The casino is expected to generate more than 2.4 million visits yearly, with close to 1.6 million people coming out of state. The estimated economic output is $352 million for Kenosha County and $492 million for the state.

Photo by Wisconsin State Journal
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Katarina Vojvodic

Katarina Vojvodic is a lead writer for PlayUSA who lives in Toronto. Vojvodic provides coverage of the US gambling industry with a focus on US online casinos. Previously, she covered Ontario’s online gambling industry for Vojvodic holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Belgrade. Outside working hours, she can be found near the water with her husband and their two kids.

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