Recently, the Beloit casino and resort project of the Ho-Chunk Nation make great progress following Governor Tony Evers’ decision to back the project’s proposed site as being part of the declared trust land of the Native American nation.
Last week, Governor Evers agreed with a federal decision to move land suggested to host the project into trust status, making it possible for the tribe to establish one of the biggest gambling and entertainment complexes in Wisconsin. As shared by the Governor, he agreed with the decision of the US Department of the Interior from April 2020, under which 32 acres of land would be designated in trust status for the project. This has helped the proposal get one step closer to becoming a reality for the tribe that has been trying to make it happen for decades.
Ryan Greendeer, the Public Relations Officer of the Ho-Chunk Nation, shared that for the time being no timeline for the construction has been made yet. The City Manager of Beloit, Lori Curtis Luther, commented that a real possibility existed for the construction works of the project to begin by the end of 2021.
Governor Evers has seen the proposed casino project as a fresh revenue source that would help the local communities cover some of the financial difficulties faced by the city of Beloit because of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, with him giving the nod to the project, the Bureau of Indian Affairs is set to prepare the determination and give the start to the final administrative process that would make the land part of the Ho-Chunk Nation’s trust.
The Process of Approval for the Proposed Casino Is Two-Part Procedure
The process of taking the land into trust so that the Indian tribe is given the opportunity to establish a casino venue there is a two-part procedure, which is necessary on gaming fee-to-trust acquisitions. In the first step, the Bureau of Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior was supposed to give its approval to the project. And it has. Then, Wisconsin Governor was required to agree with the BIA’s decision in order for the second part of the process to be completed.
The proposal would make it possible for 32 acres of land to be transferred into trust status as part of a bigger piece of land owned by the Ho-Chunk Nation in Beloit.
The Public Relations Officer of the tribe revealed that the Ho-Chunk Nation has recently finalized a feasibility study for its casino and resort project because of the potential impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Mr. Greendeer shared that the Native American nation was considering the results of the feasibility study in order to take into account the longevity as far as the development process’ phasing goes.
According to the tribe, the development of the proposed casino and resort project would create 1,500 jobs. Currently, the Beloit casino project is not the only gambling expansion proposal in the Stateline Area.