Last week, the US Department of the Interior officially informed the Ho-Chunk Nation’s leaders that the Bureau of Indian Affairs put into trust the 33-acre land owned by the tribe in Beloit, Wisconsin.
The recent announcement paved the way for the Ho-Chunk Nation to proceed with its plans to establish a casino in Beloit, with the project worth $405-million aimed at building one of the biggest casinos in the state. The planned casino resort will also include a hotel, a waterpark, as well as a convention center, but all of these facilities are expected to be built at a later date. The construction of the casino is set to start by the end of 2022.
Considering the fact that Beloit is situated in close proximity to the Wisconsin and Illinois border, the new venue is expected to attract gamblers from Chicago, which is the third-biggest metropolitan area in the city.
Karena Thundercloud, Vice President of Ho-Chunk Nation Legislature, revealed that the construction of the Beloit project will be happening at a time when everyone is still dealing with some negative consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, which led to economic uncertainty. According to her, making an investment in gaming would bring significant revenues, so the Native American nation would be able to invest in other economic opportunities and address the critical needs of Ho-Chunk Nation’s members.
The Ho-Chunk Nation has agreed to ink a revenue-sharing agreement with Rock County and the City of Beloit, under which it would pay $3 million every year to both.
New Beloit Casino to Become the 7th Ho-Chunk Casino Operated in Wisconsin
Now, with the casino resort project approved, the company focused on the tribal economy, Twelve Clans Inc. Sovereign Wealth Fund, is expected to proceed with a proposal to support the overall development of the casino and its successful operation in the area.
The Chairman of Twelve Clans, Eric S Trevan, Ph.D., congratulated the Ho-Chunk tribe on the long-awaited completion of the land into trust and revealed that the Sovereign Wealth Fund had adopted a new strategy and was ready to provide support and guidance with development, gaming and project finance.
According to experts, the potential involvement of the Twelve Clans Inc. Sovereign Wealth Fund in the project could add a new direction to the way the Ho-Chunk Nation has owned and run its other casinos, separating some of its business activities from the tribe’s governance. Some of them believe that it is essential for the Native American nation to keep its government activities separated from its business enterprises, as this could help the Ho-Chunk Nation’s leaders significantly advance the financial interest of the tribe and its citizens.
So far, the Ho-Chunk Nation owns and operates 6 other casinos in the state of Wisconsin. The new casino will be the seventh one owned by the tribe. As mentioned above, it is expected to be established on the 33-acre site that was recently put into trust by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and is adjacent to another 70 acres acquired by the tribe in 2009.