FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Today, the Menominee Tribe and local elected officials from Kenosha are holding a press conference in Madison to announce the signing of Kenosha City and County Intergovernmental Agreements (IGA) for an off-reservation casino.
But for Kenosha citizens who expressed legitimate concerns over the secrecy, lack of important details, and exclusion of the Seminole Tribe/Hard Rock Café in the IGAs, this is no time to celebrate.
Both the City and the County IGAs lack critical details that could be very costly to Kenosha citizens:
- What exactly are they building? A box of 1,500 slots with 2,000 parking spaces are the only details provided.
- An actual traffic study – how will 2,000 cars per day impact that area, and who will pay for the capital improvements?
- What impact will the casino have on local crime, who will have the authority, and how will it be addressed?
- The Florida Seminole Tribe/Hard Rock Café is pivotal to the approval of the casino as they will finance and operate the casino, yet there is nothing binding them to the Kenosha Casino.
“Kenosha city and county leaders repeatedly misled their citizens about the need to rush this process as they attempted to sneak it through between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays,” said Lorri Pickens, Executive Director of Citizens Against Expanded Gambling. *
In response to an inquiry from County Supervisor Laura Belsky, The Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) confirmed there are no deadlines for the intergovernmental agreements to be approved.
“The absurdity of this whole process is the fact that the Menominee Tribe has not even submitted a complete application to the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs. We’re calling on the the BIA and Governor Evers to slow this process down and complete these impact studies, required for every other developer prior to approval, to protect the best interest of Kenosha citizens,” said Pickens.
* Citizens Against Expanded Gambling is a statewide group of concerned citizens, employers and community leaders who oppose this casino.