Statement by Forest County Potawatomi Spokesman Ken Walsh following the end of the Governor’s 60-day comment and review period:
“After a careful, serious and good-faith review, the Potawatomi cannot support this Kenosha casino application because of the corruption associated with it and the hundreds of millions of dollars that will be sent to the out-of-state gambling interests invested in the project.”
A well-documented, multi-year FBI investigation of this Kenosha casino proposal resulted in four casino advocates pleading guilty to a variety of federal charges including providing illegal campaign contributions and bribery. This included a former local elected official in Kenosha.1 2 3
This casino proposal still includes several agreements negotiated by some of the same casino advocates caught up in the project's corruption and scandal. Key intergovernmental agreements at the foundation of this Kenosha casino application were negotiated and executed by Allan Kehl,4 the former Kenosha County Executive who was convicted of accepting bribes in exchange for his work to help the Kenosha casino effort. Additionally, Kenosha casino proponents rely primarily on the economic feasibility report prepared for former casino developer Dennis Troha - who eventually pled guilty to funneling illegal campaign contributions to officials at the state and federal level.5
There are at least three out-of-state gambling interest who stand to receive hundreds of millions should the Kenosha casino project move forward. The Alabama-based owner of the Dairyland dog track where the casino is to be located will receive $40 million.6 The Connecticut Mohegan Tribe will receive $12 million for its prior work on the casino effort.7 And the Florida Seminole Tribe, who own Hard Rock International, are now the Kenosha casino proposal's planned developer and manager. In return, they will receive a huge cut of the revenue. In previous arrangements, the Menominee tribe was willing to share more than 25% of its gaming revenue with the potential developer and manager.8
1 “US indicts Wisconsin casino figure” Chicago Tribune, March 1, 2007
2 “2nd Troha associate pleads guilty” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, February 2, 2008
3 “Ex-official pleads guilty in Troha case” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 31, 2008
4 Final Environment Impact Statement, Menominee Casino-Hotel 223 Acre Fee-To-Trust Transfer, April, 2012
5 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Market Assessment Executive Summary, prepared for Kenesah Gaming
Development, LLC, dated June 14, 2004 (hereinafter PWC Market Assessment), Original Submission Vol. I, Tab 5
and 5.A (OIG Attachments 14). PWC estimates are in2004 dollars.
6 Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin Section 20 Determination (page 32), August 23, 2013
7 “Wisconsin tribe once partners with Mohegan now has Hard Rock deal” The Day, October 11, 2013
8 “Seminole tribe’s Hard Rock International would operate Kenosha casino” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, October 9, 2013
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Menominee tribe and Hard Rock International leaders say they told Gov. Scott Walker they have met his criteria to approve a new casino in Kenosha.
Walker plans to announce his decision by the end of the week.
Menominee Chairman Craig Corn says Walker did not indicate during the meeting whether he would approve their plans to open an $800 million entertainment complex at the old Dairyland Greyhound dog track in Kenosha.
Corn says he expects there to be an ongoing dialogue with Walker's administration this week.
Walker is requiring that all Wisconsin tribes approve of the deal, but the Ho-Chunk and Potawatomi remain opposed.
Walker's spokeswoman issued a statement saying only that the governor is expected to make his decision later this week.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) --Gov. Scott Walker is meeting with officials from the Menominee tribe and Hard Rock International about their proposal to open a new casino in Kenosha just two days before the governor says he plans to make a decision about the project.
The tribe submitted its proposal to Walker on Tuesday. It planned to release those documents at a Wednesday news conference following its closed-door meeting with Walker.
Walker has said he will only approve the casino if Wisconsin's other 10 tribes agree to it. But the Potawatomi and the Ho-Chunk, both of which operate lucrative casinos in the state, are opposed to letting the Menominee open one in Kenosha.
Walker has said he will make his decision by the end of the week.