The Oneida Nation will begin to take sports bets this week, as its new gaming compact amendment with the state takes effect. Sports betting will be available at Oneida’s main casino in Green Bay at first, and not at the other two gaming facilities on the reservation, as the compact with the state regulates that wagers be taken only on the reservation. This will be the first time legal sports betting takes place in Wisconsin.
Gamblers at the Oneida casino will be able to bet on the state’s three professional sports teams: the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Milwaukee Brewers. The casino also will also be able to offer wagers on other events, such as the Oscars, but the focus will be on sports, which includes all professional sports, as well as college sports, except for Wisconsin college sports.
Sports betting was supposed to start in September, however, it was delayed due to a delay in the delivery of equipment.
“Sports betting is nothing new here in Wisconsin, but legal betting is new,” said Louise Cornelius, Oneida Nation gaming general manager. “We hope to provide an environment for our clientele that is clean and up-to-date with the best technology possible.”
Chad Fuss, Oneida Casino's chief financial assistant, said the tribe is aware that illegal sports betting has been happening in many states. “I think we would be naïve to think that it has not been happening in Wisconsin,” he said.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony is set for Tuesday at the tribe’s main casino, at 2040 Airport Drive near Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport, with Oneida “Bingo Queens” Sandra Brehmer and Alma Webster scheduled to place the first bets.
Brehmer and Webster are credited with starting and operating the most profitable bingo games in Wisconsin, starting in 1976 in the pre-tribal casino era, which became one of the largest revenue generators for the tribe at the time.
A study released this summer by the New American Gaming Association found that customers are moving their sports betting business away from illegal bookies toward legal options that are becoming available in more states.
Fuss stated that the Oneida Nation has partnered with a company called International Gaming Technology to provide the software and infrastructure for the sports betting experience, “We feel the system is user-friendly for our employees while taking bets as well as very user-friendly for our customers who may utilize the option to use on one of our kiosks to make a bet,” he said, as reported by Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Oneida officials say customer feedback suggests sports betting will be a successful endeavor for the tribe.
“Based on the number of emails and phone calls that we receive on a daily basis from all over the state, we do know that there is a large customer base awaiting the opportunity to make legal bets,” Fuss concluded.
Potawatomi officials, who run a casino in Milwaukee, released a brief statement this summer that suggested their tribal nation will seek a similar compact with the state.
“The Potawatomi look forward to bringing sports betting to Milwaukee in the future,” the statement read.