MILWAUKEE - A new proposal for a casino in Kenosha has garnered federal approval, but some say moving forward with the project could have a negative impact on Milwaukee's economy.
The Menominee tribal chairman was notified of the approval Friday, according to a report in the Journal Sentinel. The tribe has tried to open a casino in the Kenosha area since the 1990s.
Milwaukee Common Council President Willie L. Hines, Jr. released a statement Friday opposing the potential casino. He says as many as 3,000 jobs could be lost:
"Many other members of the Common Council and I are very concerned about today’s announcement by the Bureau of Indian Affairs because of the estimated 3,000 jobs that would be lost in Milwaukee should this Kenosha casino proposal go forward.
We are...encouraged that Governor Walker has established criteria for considering new casinos that include a requirement of consensus among the local and surrounding community regarding a proposed casino project. The Kenosha proposal plainly does not meet this standard, and we encourage the Governor to reject this application because of the jobs that are projected to be lost in Milwaukee."
Governor Walker has said in the past that he would require consent from all 11 Wisconsin tribes to construct a new casino. In a statement Friday, he said his administration would move forward with a 60-day comment gathering period and would reach out to tribes for their feedback.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett also has come out against the casino project, saying "We encourage Governor Walker to reject this application because of the projected job losses and economic harm it will have on Milwaukee."