City Council Votes For Tribal Casino Proposal in Kenosha, Wisconsin

The Kenosha City Council voted in favor of the intergovernmental agreement between the state of Wisconsin and the Menominee Tribe’s gaming authority on casino development in the Kenosha county. The Council’s approval of the $360 million hotel and casino project proposed by the Menominee Tribe and the Hard Rock International reportedly represents a major milestone for the partners towards the project launch.

Approved on 11:6 Vote:

As reported by Kenosha News, the proposal focused on the development of a casino, hotel, restaurant and entertainment venue on 60 acres of land near Interstate 94, formerly owned by the Village of Bristol, has cleared the Kenosha City Council on a 11:6 vote. The meeting held in the Municipality Building reportedly lasted more than three hours and was attended by a large number of citizens. Having obtained the requested majority, the measure has provided the way for the project to enter further legal procedures and eventually be implemented.

“Sixty acres is being purchased. We’re not giving anybody 60 acres,” Alderperson Daniel Prozanski reportedly said to support the proposal. “It’s a privately funded operation. … This is a big deal,” he added to dispel the concerns of his colleagues and fellow citizens worried about the casino development and its potential impact on the community. Alderperson Anthony Kennedy reportedly said: “My job — as I’ve told you over and over again — is to maintain or improve quality-of-life for my constituents. This is the step that we need to start the process.” The officials expect that the process will take years to complete.

Positive Impact:

According to the source, the proponents generally found of the casino proposal compelling enough to be supported. Some of them, though, requested that the city officials be prohibited from working at the casino while in office or a specified period after the service. On the other hand, some opponents argued that they would need additional details and explanations to vote for the project. Some other rather followed the sentiment of their communities to reject the proposal. Mayor John Antaramian told the source: “I think this will be a positive impact for the ph646 community on a long-term basis. We’ll go through the process and see how this goes. The compact is a good compact. It’s similar to what we’ve passed in the past and it’s been vetted numerous times.” 

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$295 Million in Annual Revenues:

As Kenosha News reports, Menominee Tribe’s gaming authority has partnered with Hard Rock International to propose a $360 million hotel and casino complex in the Kenosha county. Hard Rock’s representatives expect that the facility will generate between $250 million and $295 million in annual revenues to bring 3% of net revenues to the community through a customized payment scheme. Such a scheme includes payments ranging from $100,000 to $2.5 million to fund community programs and the development of public infrastructure on a revolving time basis.

Casino development would reportedly secure 800 construction jobs over a two-year period and around 1,000 permanent jobs once the resort is launched. The latest approval from the City Council marks a significant milestone for the project to advance to the next legal step. As Kenosha News reports, the County Board of Supervisors will review the compact agreement with the tribe on 16 January 2024.