New guv takes hard line against more casinos

Wisconsin State Roundup

Published July 1, 2001  | July 2001 issue

In the last year, there has been a strong push for off-reservation Indian casinos in three Wisconsin cities, including one in the district. Although popular opinion has been strongly against any expansion of gambling in the state, the biggest hurdle appears to be new Gov. Scott McCallum. While he has stated that he will not attempt to undermine any of the 17 existing Indian casinos in the state, McCallum has been unequivocally opposed to the spread of casinos to off-reservation sites.

For example, a three-tribe consortium proposed an off-reservation casino in a failed dog-racing track in Hudson, which lies across the state border from the Twin Cities. Citing local opposition, McCallum refused to approve the proposal, effectively killing the effort. The tribe reacted in May by filing suit in federal court arguing that the federal law giving governors final say on off-reservation casino proposals was unconstitutional.

Ronald A. Wirtz