The leadership of the Ho-Chunk Nation is serious about bringing a casino to Beloit, Wisconsin. They just aren’t yet ready to share any details about how soon that might happen.
While Beloit’s leadership is similarly looking forward to the project, time might not necessarily be on the casino developers’ side. The gambling industry within and adjacent to Wisconsin is growing.
Ho-Chunk Nation president discusses Beloit ambitions
According to Sarah Lehr of WPR, Ho-Chunk Nation President Jon Greendeer, who has only been in office since July 5, “is fully committed to the” Beloit project.
It’s been almost a quarter of a century since voters in the city authorized casino gaming. However, the United States Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs didn’t take the site the casino will occupy into trust for the Ho-Chunk Nation until 2022.
At this point, Ho-Chunk Gaming has yet to submit plans for the development to Beloit’s city council. There is a revenue-sharing agreement in place, however. Additionally, Lehr reports that Beloit Economic Development Director Drew Pennington “said he’s optimistic about the casino’s prospects.”
Pennington expressed his belief that “the project is still on track” and described the current stage of the process as Ho-Chunk Gaming “doing a little more due diligence.” Previous descriptions of the development have included a convention center, hotel, and water park in addition to the casino gaming.
Ho-Chunk Gaming already operates six casinos around Wisconsin. While it is moving behind the scenes on a seventh in Beloit, other things are in motion as well.
Gambling landscape filling up around Beloit
Ho-Chunk Gaming isn’t the only active gaming entity near Beloit. In fact, construction is underway on a permanent Hard Rock Casino in Rockford, Illinois. A temporary facility there has been open since late 2021. Rockford is just about a half-hour drive from Beloit.
Within the past three months, Potawatomi and St. Croix casinos within the borders of Wisconsin have announced upgrades. Furthermore, the Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin has designs on a Hard Rock Casino of its own in Kenosha.
More details about Ho-Chunk Beloit could be forthcoming soon. It might prove beneficial for Ho-Chunk Gaming to move as quickly as possible. The longer they wait, the greater the odds that Beloit residents will establish habits that benefit the competition.