Kenosha Casino Questions, Concerns Remain at the County Level

Nov. 16, 2023 10:30p

(WGTD)---The Menominee Indian Tribe’s proposed casino for Kenosha got mixed reviews at the county board committee level this week.

Thursday night, the Finance/Administration Committee voted four to three against a proposed intergovernmental agreement with the Menominees. The night before at the Legislative Committee, the vote was reversed: four to two in favor.

Last week, the Kenosha City Council gave its preliminary approval to a separate agreement with the city on a vote of 12 to 3.

At Thursday night's county committee meeting, Supervisor Bill Grady said he still had unanswered questions. "Maybe the city had more time to deliberate this--maybe they had time to vet it but for our jurisprudence--for our time to look at this--it does seem very quick this time," he said.

Earlier in the meeting, a local attorney representing the Potawatomis raised a series of questions that he said Kenosha officials should be asking. The Potawatomis operate a casino in Milwaukee.

Supervisor John Poole expressed support for the casino, saying it would bring in outside dollars to the county. "Due to the close proximity of I-94, most of the revenues probably would be from out of this area. That's why they're trying to get it on I-94," Poole said. "It's not going to be local residents mainly financing this thing." 

Kenosha County’s Finance Director estimated that the county would receive over $81 million in various forms of revenue from casino operations in the facility's first 20 years. She said that should be more than enough to offset the cost of hiring additional deputies and human services personnel and covering any other extra costs in response to the development.

The full county board, which got a preliminary look at the I-G-A earlier this week, is expected to vote on the issue next Tuesday night.