Kenosha City Council Votes In Favor Of Wisconsin Tribal Casino Proposal

Written By Katarina Vojvodic on January 4, 2024
Casino Sign On Stone Tiles

The Kenosha City Council has voted in favor of a multi-million-dollar intergovernmental agreement with the Menominee Indian Tribe gaming authority. The move marks a big step for the Menominee Tribe, whose reservation is in Wisconsin, and future Hard Rock Casino.

The City Council was supposed to vote on the measure in November. However, the vote got delayed to Jan. 3 to allow council members more time to review the plan and hear from the area residents.

Next, the Kenosha County Board of Supervisors will revisit its intergovernmental agreement with the tribe on Jan. 16.

Kenosha mayor is happy with the meeting outcome

During a City Council meeting inside the Municipal Building, alderpersons voted 11-6 for the agreement. The ones that voted in favor of the deal were:

  1. Rocco LaMacchia
  2. David Bogdala
  3. Ruth Dyson
  4. Daniel Prozanski
  5. Anthony Kennedy
  6. Keith Rosenberg
  7. Curt Wilson
  8. Brandi Ferree
  9. Jack Rose
  10. Bill Siel
  11. Rollin Pizzala

Against were:

  1. Dominic Ruffalo
  2. Holly Kangas
  3. Kelly MacKay
  4. David Mau
  5. Eric Haugaard
  6. Jan Michalski

Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian, said he was pleased with the result after the meeting. According to a Kenosha News article, Antaramian said:

“I think this will be a positive impact for the community on a long-term basis. We’ll go through the process and see how this goes. The compact is a good compact. It’s similar to what we’ve passed in the past and it’s been vetted numerous times.”

What does the new Wisconsin casino project include?

Members of the tribe’s gaming authority and legislature propose a $360 million complex. If fully developed, the Wisconsin casino project would include:

  • A hotel
  • Restaurants
  • Entertainment venue

The tribe is working with Florida-based developer Hard Rock International to develop the 60-acre plot of land southwest of Interstate 94, formerly owned by the Village of Bristol.

Labor unions and other casino proponents estimate the project would create 800 construction jobs during a two-year buildout and 1,000 permanent jobs once fully operational.

The casino would pay 3% of its ‘net win’ to the city quarterly

According to the intergovernmental agreement with the Menominee, the casino would be exempt from local property taxes. The city would still receive payments from the tribe based on gaming revenues.

According to Hard Rock’s Regional President, Matt Schuffert, total annual revenues could range from $250 million to $295 million.

The city would receive about 3% in “net win” payments every quarter to support governmental operations. The proposed payments, to be made in the next 20 years and negotiated every 10 years after that, would include:

  • An annual payment of $750,000 toward public schools in the city when net win payments exceed $2 million
  • $500,000 annually starting the third year to the city’s public museums and to support a homeownership program
  • $1 million for the purchase of advanced life support vehicles
  • An annual $500,000 payment of over six years to finance building a police, fire and public work station near the casino complex
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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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