Following months of negotiations, on December 20, 2021, the State of Wisconsin and the St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin signed a “historic” compact amendment allowing the federally recognized Tribe to offer sports and event wagering at any of its casinos and affiliate locations in the midwestern U.S. state.

Also allowed per the compact amendment, remote event wagering on land either owned by the Tribe or held in trust for the Tribe by the federal government that has on it a commercial building that the Tribe owns or leases.

Anticipated approval:

The amendment, which was signed on Monday at the St. Croix Casino Danbury by Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, and William Reynolds, Chairman of the St. Croix Tribe, has made its way to the U.S. Department of the Interior where a 45-day review is in process. According to the official press release, the Wisconsin Department of Administration’s (DOA) Division of Gaming is expected to sign off on the compact’s event wagering provisions.

Tribal chairman & governor statements:

Commenting on the signing, Chairman Reynolds said…

“We are in exciting times here at St. Croix. The addition of sports wagering at the St. Croix Casinos will give our tribe the ability to give our customers the most comprehensive gaming experience in the state of Wisconsin.”

He added that they are “greatly appreciative” of Governor Evers’ partnership with the tribes and they look forward to continuing the “government-to-government relationship. Miigwetch!”

Governor Evers echoed the sentiment, stating that he is “grateful” for Chairman Reynolds and the St. Croix Chippewa Tribal Council for their efforts to negotiate the compact.

Event wagering, he said, “will bring new opportunities for employment and revenue growth to the Tribe and provide a welcome boost to our recovering tourism and entertainment industries.”

Months of negotiations reportedly went on between the St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin and the DOA before the St. Croix Tribal Council voted on the compact amendment on November 30, 2021.

According to the press release from the governor’s office, the St. Croix Tribe has begun construction of a “large and modern” sports book venue at its Turtle Lake casino.

DOA note:

Also commenting on the signing, DOA Secretary Joel Brennan, said…

“We are grateful to be able to work closely with the St. Croix Chippewa leadership on this agreement and look forward to continuing our partnership in support of this gaming compact for the benefit of the Tribe and the state.”

The DOA’s Office of Indian Gaming and Regulatory Compliance (OIGRC) is currently responsible for conducting on-site audits of casino operations, and per the amended compact will have oversight to effect regulatory compliance and event wagering integrity.

Oneida Nation 1st:

On July 1st, 2021, Governor Evers and Oneida Nation Chairman Tehassi Hill signed a compact amendment allowing event wagering and sports betting at Oneida Casino, making sports betting legal in the state for the first time in history. After a 45-day review and subsequent approval by the DOA, the federally recognized tribe opened its sportsbook operation on November 30, 2021, inside the tribe’s main casino near Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport.