Tribal Compact Clears Way For Sports Betting In Milwaukee

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on February 23, 2022
Potawatomi Community Signs Compact With Wisconsin Governor For Sports Betting

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers announced the signing of a third state-tribal compact clearing the way for retail betting in Milwaukee

Pending approval by the US Department of Interior, the Forest County Potawatomi Community will be able to offer Wisconsin sports betting on sports and non-sports events. 

How soon can Wisconsin sports betting begin?

The Potawatomi tribe operates the Potawatomi Casino and Hotel in Milwaukee and the Potawatomi Carter Casino Hotel in Wabeno.

In addition to sportsbooks at each location, the compact allows the tribe to conduct sports betting on lands adjacent to its properties. 

  • Menominee Valley
  • Forest County

Potawatomi Chairman Ned Daniels Jr. had this to say: 

“We appreciate Governor Evers and his Administration working with us in a government-to-government manner to provide our Tribe the tools needed to compete in the marketplace and giving us the business certainty to continue our investments in Milwaukee and throughout the state.”

Per federal law, the Department of Interior must approve all state-tribal compacts within 45 days. The compact is considered approved if the Interior Department makes no decision within that time frame. 

Evers was pleased the state was able to reach a deal saying, 

“I look forward to continuing our partnership together to find new opportunities that support and bolster the Tribe’s success and our state’s success for years to come.”

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Other available sports betting options in Wisconsin

In addition to the Potawatomi, Wisconsin has state-tribal compacts with two other Native Tribes:

  • Oneida Nation
  • St. Croix Chippewa Indians

Sports betting began at the Oneida’s Green Bay casino in late November. After that, Evers signed a compact with the St Croix Chippewa. The Chippewa operate three casinos roughly 80 miles from the Twin Cities metropolitan area. 

According to the Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau report, 11 tribes operate 24 Class III gaming facilities. As a result, these 24 casinos reported more than $1.3 billion in net revenue in 2019, of which the state’s portion was about $34.6 million.

Each tribe must negotiate separate gaming compacts with the state.

Should Wisconsin attempt to offer betting at the commercial level, it would violate tribal compacts and potentially risk forfeiting revenue-sharing agreements. 

Photo by Sean Pavone /
Nicholaus Garcia Avatar
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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick has had stints in Chicago and Washington, D.C., writing about politics, financial markets, and sports betting. He graduated from Texas Tech University and completed his master's degree in journalism at Columbia College Chicago.

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