Ho-Chunk Beloit Casino Secures BIA Approval

Beloit Wisconsin Ho Chunk

  • The Bureau of Indian Affairs has signed off on the Ho-Chunk casino project in Beloit City, Wisconsin.
  • The $405 million project would create one of the largest casinos in the state.
  • It will be the fourth casino property for the Ho-Chunk tribe which has facilities in Nekoosa, Baraboo, and Black River Falls.

The Ho-Chunk casino project in Beloit, Wisconsin has been approved by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

In a statement Ho-Chunk vice president Karena Thundercloud said:

“The Nation, our partners, and this community have been anticipating this moment for years. There’s been some skepticism about the timeline because of the Nation’s reliance on the federal processes but we’ve been confident in the project’s viability and look forward to a bright future for Beloit, the state of Wisconsin, and the Ho-Chunk Nation.”

One of the Largest Casinos in the State

The $405 million project places 33 acres of land into trust. The complex would produce one of the largest casinos in the state as well as a 300-room hotel with more than 45,000 square feet of convention area and a 40,000 square foot indoor waterpark. The project is expected to generate 3,000 construction jobs and 1,300 permanent jobs when the complex opens.

Beloit voters approved the project a long time ago in a 1999 referendum. The Ho-Chunk tribe purchased the casino project lot in 2009 and has been working with state and federal authorities since 2012 to secure approval to build a casino there. The plan was signed off by Gov. Tony Evers more than a year ago but there were still regulatory hurdles to overcome, the last of which was achieved earlier this week.

Long-Term Revenue Source for Tribe

The Beloit project will be another feather in the cap for the Ho-Chunk Nation which also operates gambling facilities in Nekoosa, Baraboo, and Black River Falls. According to Wisconsin senator Tammy Baldwin, the incoming casino will provide a long-term source of revenue for essential housing, education, and health programs for the tribal members.

Baldwin also noted that the Biden administration is the third administration that the tribe has worked with to get approval on the project. The federal government has approved only a few off-reservation casinos across the country. The Potawatomi Casino in Milwaukee is currently the only off-reservation casino in Wisconsin.

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