Wisconsin tribes reliant on casinos hit hard by pandemic

Published: Jun. 22, 2020 at 5:59 PM CDT
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Native American tribes in Wisconsin that rely mostly on casino revenue to support their communities are struggling to provide government services after the pandemic forced businesses to shut down to curb the spread of the virus.

The National Indian Gaming Association says about 241 tribes, including the 11 in Wisconsin, stand to lose about $22.4 billion, more than half their projected revenue this year.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that the organization is dedicated to protecting the welfare and sovereignty of tribes. Ho-Chunk Nation President Marlon WhiteEagle says the outbreak weakened their economy. The tribe's six Wisconsin casinos generate more than 80% of the tribe's annual operating budget.

AP-WF-06-22-20 2017GMT