The Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin is reportedly celebrating the announcement that the federal government has at long last approved its land-into-trust petition regarding a 33-acre plot located on the outskirts of the city of Beloit.
According to a Thursday report from local television broadcaster WREX-TV, the move from the Bureau of Indian Affairs is the latest positive step in the federally-recognized tribe’s four-year plan to spend approximately $405 million so as to bring a 300-room casino resort to the southern Wisconsin community.
Formerly known as the Wisconsin Winnebago Tribe, the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin already operates Ho-Chunk Gaming-branded casinos in the Wisconsin cities of Black River Falls, Baraboo, Madison, Nekoosa, Tomah and Wittenberg and it has been endeavoring since 2016 to bring a seventh such tribal venue complete with a 139,700 sq ft gaming floor to the aforementioned parcel located alongside Interstate 90 less than a mile from the state’s border with Illinois.
However, before it could start digging, the tribe was reportedly required to get the federal government to place the site for the proposed development into trust, which is a move that takes any such gambling-friendly enterprise beyond the reach of most state interference. The television broadcaster detailed that the decision from the Bureau of Indian Affairs is now set to be placed on the desk of Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers for his review and could well be officially signed off before the end of the year.
WREX-TV reported that the plan from the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin has already obtained city support due to the fact that it is set to provide full-time employment for around 1,500 locals. The City Manager for the Rock County community, Lori Curtis Luther, purportedly told the broadcaster that the federal approval is something ‘we have waited many years to receive’ but will only be celebrated following the end of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Luther reportedly told WREX-TV…
“Unequivocally, our highest priority is doing everything we possibly can to keep our staff and the public safe. Once this crisis is over, we look forward to celebrating this amazing announcement that will bring much needed future revenues and jobs to Beloit.”