Second Wisconsin Tribe Approved To Offer Retail Sports Betting
The St. Croix Chippewa will soon be the second tribe in Wisconsin to offer retail sports betting inside its casinos.
On Monday, Gov. Tony Evers signed an amendment to the state’s gaming compact, clearing the way for the St. Croix Chippewa to offer sports wagering.
The first tribe in Wisconsin to offer sports betting inside its casino was the Oneida Nation in Green Bay, not far from Lambeau Field, home of the NFL’s Packers. The Oneida Nation casino took its first sports bet Nov. 30.
That same day, the St. Croix Tribal Council approved the measure to allow sports betting.
“We are in exciting times here at St. Croix,” tribal Chairman William Reynolds said, according to a release from the Governor’s office. “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. We are greatly appreciative of the partnership Governor Evers has provided to the tribes and we look forward to continuing this government-to-government relationship.”
Process for Wisconsin Sports Betting
The agreement must receive approval from the U.S. Department of the Interior, but the tribe has already begun construction of a physical sportsbook inside its casino at Turtle Lake in western Wisconsin, about 75 miles from Minneapolis. The two other St. Croix Chippewa casinos are in Hertel and Danbury.
The deal calls for remote betting, according to the release from the Governor’s office, “on land owned by the Tribe or held in trust for the Tribe by the federal government that contains a commercial building owned or leased by the Tribe.”
This summer, Evers signed an amended gaming compact to allow the Oneida Tribe to begin the process of offering sports betting.
Wisconsin does not have any commercial casinos, nor does it have real money online casino options. The state has 26 tribal casinos that combine for an annual economic impact of $3.1 billion, according to the American Gaming Association.
Tribal Casinos’ Impact on Economy
Across the country, tribal casinos combined for $27.8 billion in revenue in 2020, a 19.5% drop from the previous year. Such a drop was to be expected in a year when the COVID-19 crisis forced many casinos to shut down completely and have restricted capacity and operating hours well after the initial wave of coronavirus hit.
In 2019, tribal gaming facilities combined for a record $34.6 billion in revenue around the country.
Among the states bordering Wisconsin, Michigan gaming is the most robust market, offering both mobile sports betting and online casino gaming, making it one of only six states to offer the latter. Iowa and Illinois offer online sports wagering.