Oneida Casinos in Wisconsin could soon be able to offer sports betting and event wagering. On Thursday, July 1, Gov. Tony Evers and Oneida Nation Chairman Tehassi Hill signed the historic compact amendment, reports the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
The compact will be sent to the U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs for a 45-day review. If approved, the Oneida Nation can begin expanding operations to allow event wagering at Oneida Casino, just in time for the upcoming National Football League regular season. However, the compact amendment does not allow for wagering on Wisconsin college athletics.
Gov. Evers said: “The Oneida Casino is a critical source of revenue and employment for Oneida Nation. This will bring new opportunities for employment and revenue growth to the tribe”.
Oneida Chairman Tehassi Hill commented: “This collaboration has been a great testament to intergovernmental agencies working together. When Oneida engaged with the State of Wisconsin by signing our first gaming compact in 1991, 30 years ago, we were a reservation with a struggling but growing economy. Since that time we have grown tremendously and can provide a better quality of life for our Oneida people and those who live on and around our reservation. We have been fortunate to be working toward recovery in our economy and move toward keeping a safe, professional gaming entertainment facility for Wisconsin travelers. Tourism is an important component of Wisconsin economy.”
“Event wagering,” as defined by the compact amendment, can include sports and events betting such as wagering on nationally televised award shows, professional sports league drafts, and professional sporting events such as the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, and Major League Baseball.
Oneida Casino is proud to announce it is one step closer to bringing legalized sports betting to WI. Chairman, Tehassi Hill, and Governor, Tony Evers, signed an amendment to the Oneida Nation Gaming Compact adding sports wagering to the scope of games to be offered at Oneida. pic.twitter.com/dxGbVbxQhq— Oneida Casino (@OneidaCasino) July 1, 2021
The Nation plans to build a sports betting lounge in its casino building to host event wagering, Hill told reporters and Oneida representatives Thursday. It also plans to offer wagering at some Oneida-owned retail sites. No matter where the original wagers were placed, winnings would have to be collected at the casino.
Evers and tribal officials, while not offering estimates of how much money the operation would take in for the tribe, said it would generate revenue for the state, help the Oneidas economically and be a positive for the Green Bay area's economy.
Revenue for legal sports betting could reach $3.1 billion this year nationwide, and grow to as much as $10 billion within five years, according to a report this January from VIXIO Gambling Compliance, a company that tracks gambling legislation and performance.
The Oneidas and the state hope to capitalize on that growth by offering event betting.
"People are going to come here, they're coming to shop (in the region)," said Brandon Yellowbird-Stevens, the tribe's Vice Chairman. Unlike illegal sports betting done through bookmakers, taverns, and office pools, Yellowbird-Stevens said, "this would be legal and well-regulated."
Event wagering has expanded in states throughout the Midwest in recent years, including Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan.
Wagering is also prohibited on the outcomes of elections for public office and for events with participants under the age of 19.