Wisconsin’s Governor Tony Evers and the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa announced the signing of a new deal allowing sports and non-sports event betting at the locations operated by the tribe within the state.
This settlement allows a sports betting floor to operate at Sevenwinds Casino in Hayward, as well as mobile betting on land within the reservation. It follows weeks of negotiations between the tribe and the Wisconsin Department of Administration’s Division of Gaming. The US Department of Interior will now review the proposal for the next 45 days. If approved, it could take effect right in the thick of football season.
The compact amendment also removes the restriction for additional Class III operations for the tribe on reservation or reservation trust land. It was inked Friday, and follows similar deals to allow events betting with the Oneida Nation, the St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin and the Forest County Potawatomi.
Wisconsin Gov. Evers
In a statement, Gov. Evers said: “I am grateful to Chairman Taylor and the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Governing Board for their work to negotiate this important compact amendment. This is a win-win for the state and for the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribe. Event wagering will generate additional revenue for the state and give a boost to tourism and employment in northern Wisconsin.”
Chairman Louis Taylor of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa added: “This is a great day for the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribe. The amendments will allow the Tribe to continue offering a first-rate gaming experience at our casino. The second part of the amendment will allow the tribe to operate Class III gaming at other locations on our reservation. I am very pleased we were able to work so quickly and cooperatively with Gov. Evers’ team to reach this historic agreement.”
The tribe deems sports betting to be a new opportunity for tribes in Wisconsin, and said that this amendment puts Lac Courte Oreilles "on par with other tribal gaming operations in the nation". It addresses two parts of a larger five-part plan to strengthen the tribe's gaming operation, now and in the future.
The next round of amendments to be presented to the State would include online gaming, geo-fencing for online gaming in Wisconsin, and the ability of the tribe to lease gaming machines to facilities on reservation.
Back in April, the Oneida Nation officially opened its permanent sportsbook at Oneida Casino in Green Bay. The Oneida was the sole provider of sports gaming in Wisconsin for a while. There are currently several projects to expand the vertical throughout the state, with the Potawatomi tribe planning the opening of its own sportsbook by the end of the year.
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.