MADISON - Potawatomi withholds state payment over Kenosha casino proposal
The Forest County Potawatomi has refused to make its annual casino revenue payment to the state as Gov. Scott Walker mulls whether to approve a competing facility in Kenosha, causing what the governor is calling a "significant" impact on the state budget.
A tribal spokesman issued a terse statement Tuesday evening saying the tribe made the move because the state may end up owing the Potawatomi money if Walker approves the Menominee Nation's plans for an off-reservation casino in Kenosha. The Potawatomi runs a lucrative casino in Milwaukee and opposes the proposed Kenosha facility, fearing it could suck customers away.
The Potawatomi's gambling compact with the state requires Wisconsin to reimburse the tribe for any losses it suffers due to a Kenosha casino. Walker's administration is trying to negotiate a deal with the tribe on how to offset losses.
It's unclear how much money the Potawatomi owes the state. The tribe's compact calls for it to pay the state 6.5 percent of its net win in Milwaukee, but those winnings are confidential and a Walker administration spokesman had no immediate response when pressed for details Tuesday.