The Oneida Nation has now officially opened its permanent sportsbook at Oneida Casino in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The tribe held a grand opening for its Sportsbook Lounge on Thursday, celebrating nearly six months of sports wagering in Wisconsin, and about two months after a soft opening for the amenity took place in February, ahead of Super Bowl.
The grand opening was attended by Oneida Casino officials, who said the lounge is not meant to be just a place for wagers but for guests to enjoy a wider array of experiences. The amenity features wall-to-wall television coverage of sporting events, betting machines, couches and a bar with a number of food and beverage options.
“We’re proud to say that we are the very first legalized sports bet booking operation in the state of Wisconsin and our customers all love it,” Chad Fuss, chief financial officer for the casino, told WBAY.
The Oneida Nation partnered with International Gaming Technology (IGT) for the software and infrastructure for the sportsbook, a system management described as “user-friendly” for both employees and customers in February.
“I think it’s important to appreciate that we’re taking another giant step forward,” Ernie Stevens Jr., chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association, said according to the cited source. “I’ve been around the country and saw a few of these in Indian country. Mostly you see these in Las Vegas and I think that we can compete with anybody.”
“Before we hired consultants, we had to bring in everybody to help us live and learn,” added Stevens, remarking how hard the casino team worked to get the new sportsbook up and running. “Now we are the experts. Indian gaming is the experts of gaming in general, and I think that’s something you should all be proud of.”
The Oneida Nation first opened its permanent sportsbook through a soft launch ahead of Super Bowl LVI, rushing in an effort to meet NFL-driven wagering on the biggest single day for sports betting. The tribe was also the first to debut sports betting in Wisconsin in November last year, and the Oneidas have seen interest build over time since then, increasing on a weekly basis.
Sports betting kicked off at the Oneida Casino -and Wisconsin in general- in November, following a new gaming compact amendment with the state. Gamblers at the venue can bet on the state’s three pro sports teams -the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks, Milwaukee Brewers- and other sporting events, including college sports, except for Wisconsin college teams.
The market was actually supposed to launch in September last year, but it was pushed back due to a delay in the delivery of equipment. When it ultimately went live in November 2021, it did so in a temporary location while the casino worked on moving betting to a sports bar on the casino’s east side, which has now been remodeled to make way for the permanent sportsbook.
The Oneida’s status as the sole provider of sports gaming in Wisconsin is not set to last going forward, however, as other tribes are looking into getting a piece of the sports pie. The Potawatomi tribe has plans to open a sportsbook by the end of the year, and the Ho-Chunk and St. Croix Chippewa nations are also seeking to enter the market.
In February, Oneidas also debuted mobile sports betting through the Oneida Casino Sportsbook Mobile App, which permits wagering only to bettors physically present at one of the tribe’s casinos or rest stops in the state.
Oneida Casino became the first to launch mobile betting in the state, with the product going live at the Main-Airport, W. Mason and Irene Moore Activity Center casinos. Geofencing is in place to prevent bets from outside designated areas.