Turtle Lake Casino to Open Sportsbook-St. Cross Tribe Approved For Sports Games | News

By Greg Marsten – Burnett County Sentinel Editor

The St. Croix Chippewa Tribe and Governor Tony Evers signed an amended compact agreement on Monday, December 20, allowing casinos operated by St. Croix and their affiliated sites to offer betting on sporting and non-sporting events.

The action is only awaiting final approval from a US Department of the Interior, which will undergo a 45-day review, which is expected to be approved – then allowing the Holy Cross Tribe to begin the Sports gaming operations at Turtle Lake Casino to begin with, with more to follow.

Governor Evers met with the tribal chiefs and the Holy Cross Tribal Council in Danbury in a ceremony that began with Anishinaabe prayers, chanting and commentary, culminating in the signing of Tribal President William Reynolds and of Governor Evers of the amended Final Pact, allowing the tribe to operate a sports playbook – only the second in the state.

“This is a giant step forward,” President Reynolds said, noting that running the sports games would help more than tribal communities. “It affects all communities in our regions and generates income in the county.”

Governor Evers and the elders of the Holy Cross tribe met ahead of the signing of the compact, as he had a glimpse of Danbury’s future sporting arcade (s), long before the public or the press had come. can see it or make a bet.

“This is a historic and historic agreement to allow sports betting on tribal lands… and it opens the doors to opportunities for the tribe and for all of western Wisconsin,” exclaimed Evers.

According to tribal intergovernmental liaison Mike Decorah, the sports game plan has been in the works for some time and will allow a unique sports betting opportunity as it will be the only sports booking allowed in the region and, as stated, only the second offering of this guy in the state, after the Oneida nation started playing the sport at several casinos in eastern Wisconsin, near Green Bay. This happened after a state challenge in 2018 that ended in high courts.

“We want to thank the Oneida nation for paving the way for sports betting,” Decorah said upon signing the amended pact. “They opened up the track, which we hope to widen a little bit!

The sports games operation will allow betting on professional sporting events ranging from Major League Baseball, NBA and NFL, draft sports and other professional events, although betting on high school or high school sports. university, as well as things like elections, are not allowed.

Tribal President William Reynolds was accompanied by Vice President Thomas Fowler, Secretary / Treasurer Rick Benjamin, Representative Conrad St. John and Representative Georgia Cobenais for the tours and joined the podium with several directors and managers of the current operations at Turtle Lake, Danbury and Hertel, as well as other commercial ventures.

“It will affect all recreation in our area,” Reynolds said with a nod. “I think it’s very exciting… and we have a few other things on the back burner – but one thing at a time! “

Tribal officials praised the work of the governor and his staff in carrying out the sports games operation, noting his solemn respect for the sovereignty of the tribe.

“We greatly appreciate the partnership Governor Evers has provided to the tribes and look forward to continuing this government-to-government relationship. Miigwetch (thank you)! ”

While many details are still awaiting final federal approval, the likely economic impact has been noted repeatedly.

“Event betting will bring new employment and income growth opportunities to the tribe and provide a welcome boost to our recovering tourism and entertainment industries,” Governor Evers said, exclaiming with Reynolds after signing. “It’s a bad deal! “

According to the governor’s office, the compact amendment follows months of negotiations between the St. Croix Chippewa and the Gaming Division of the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA). The final amendment to the pact was passed and approved by the Holy Cross Tribal Council on November 30.

The Compact Amendment also allows remote event betting, as long as it originates from 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. .

“There are billions of dollars already spent (on sports betting) and even more that we don’t know about,” Decorah said, noting that the opportunities for expansion are vast. The tribe members also thanked many past and present people behind the scenes who have helped bring the sports game to where it is today. “There are a lot of people who can’t be here today or who have left – people who were there in the beginning… and a lot more we have to thank.”

Among the distinguished guests was the hundred-year-old eldest of the tribe Jean Songetay, who also had a personal meeting with the governor after the ceremony, and was noted for her educational efforts.

According to the Holy Cross Tribe, their three casino complexes alone attract around 250,000 unique visitors per year, who in turn make nearly 1.5 million separate visits each year and contribute millions of dollars to local economies, to business partners and families. This figure does not include other tribal businesses located in Northwestern Wisconsin, which include business and retail development, food, drink and fuel sales, rental, camping, accommodation and much more.

The St. Croix Band of Ojibwe owns reserve lands in four counties in northwestern Wisconsin: Barron, Burnett, Polk and Douglas, totaling nearly 4,700 acres.

Collectively, the tribe is one of the largest employers in the region, with more than 1,000 employees, nearly half of whom are women.

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