Tribal compact amendment

Wisconsin signs sports betting compact with Potawatomis; sportsbook to open by the end of 2022

2022-02-21
Reading time 1:42 min

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has signed a new compact allowing sports betting at the Forest County Potawatomi’s tribal casinos. The deal was announced by both the governor’s office and tribal Chairman Ned Daniels Jr. through press statements released on Friday.

The amendment to the already existing gaming deal, in addition to now allowing for event wagering, also extends the compact to 2061. It is, however, still subject to US Department of Interior approval, and is set to undergo a 45-day review.

“We appreciate Governor Evers and his administration working with us in a government-to-government manner to provide our tribe the tools needed to compete in the marketplace and giving us the business certainty to continue our investments in Milwaukee and throughout the state,” Daniels said in a statement.

The compact amendment allows sports betting at the tribe’s two casinos in the Menomonee Valley and Forest County. The tribal nation expects to open a sportsbook facility at its Potawatomi Hotel and Casino in Milwaukee by the end of the year.

The compact also allows event wagering on non-sports events. The new operation will be overseen by the state Department of Administration’s Office of Indian Gaming and Regulatory Compliance. The agency, which is tasked with ensuring regulatory compliance and the integrity of event wagering, is set to conduct on-site audits to that end.

“I am glad for the good work of Chairman Daniels, the Forest County Potawatomi, and the folks at the Department of Administration to get this done so folks can enjoy sports and other event wagering in our state while benefiting the Tribe’s economic growth,” Gov. Evers said. 

The introduction of this new profitable vertical could provide the tribe a much-needed help as revenue at the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino faced a steep decline amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The casino posted $293 million during the 12-month period ended June 30, 28% below 2019, according to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The new compact follows similar amendments signed with the Oneida Nation in July last year, and the St. Croix Chippewa in December. The new market launched in November 2021, at the Oneida Casino Main-Airport location, in Green Bay.

In addition to wagering on the state’s three pro sports teams -the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks and Milwaukee Brewers-, Wisconsin bettors can also gamble on other non-sporting events, such as the Oscars. College sports are included in the offering, except for Wisconsin college sports. Mobile wagering is not permitted under current compacts.

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