Wisconsin has 11 (eleven) tribes which feature 24 gaming facilities. Yet there are no shortage of tribes looking to locate even more off-reservation gaming facilities. Nor is there a shortage of access – no one in Wisconsin has more than a 2-hour drive to the nearest casino.
Two casino proposals are currently in the works, with more to likely follow. We can also expect proposals for casinos in Kenosha and Sheboygan to gain new life in the future. The Ho-Chunk is proposing to build an off-reservation casino in Beloit, and the Lac du Flambeau are seeking to build a casino in Shullsburg.
The Ho-Chunk submitted its application to the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ regional office in Minnesota this spring after the Beloit City Council, Rock County Board and Ho-Chunk legislators approved an intergovernmental agreement. If Bureau of Indian Affairs’ approves the application, the final decision will be made by the Governor.
The Lac Du Flambeau submitted their application to the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the spring of 2013. If approved, the final decision will also be made by the Governor.
According to Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling’s Fact Sheet, problem gambling has had the following impact on Wisconsin communities and its residents:
- Approximately 333,000 Wisconsin residents have a gambling problem.
- Calls to the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling’s 24-hour Helpline have increased 329% since 1996.
- The 24-hour Helpline received 14,731 calls in 2014.
- The average debt of callers contacting the Helpline is $46,967.
- Female gamblers calling the Helpline have increased 91% since 1996.
- Seniors and adolescents are at high risk to become addicted to gambling.
Gambling related embezzlements continue to rise in Wisconsin.
- 65% of compulsive gamblers commit crimes to finance their gambling.
- Six to twenty percent of adolescents develop gambling problems.
- Suicide rates are 20 times higher among pathological gamblers compared to non-gamblers.
- People who have other addictions are at a higher risk of becoming addicted to gambling.
Women, children and older adults are among the highest risk groups (read more here).