Ho-Chunk votes to approve agreement for casino
BELOIT The proposed casino in Beloit cleared its final local hurdle Tuesday when members of the Ho-Chunk Nation Legislature voted 6-5, with one member abstaining, to approve the intergovernmental agreement with the city of Beloit and Rock County.
Approval of the agreement was the last step before the nation can submit its application to the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs to put 32 acres of land into trust for the facility.
The Beloit City Council on March 5 approved the agreement, followed by approval March 13 by the Rock County Board
It could take two years for approval once the nation submits its application to the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Beloit City Manager Larry Arft said the next step would be writing a development agreement with the nation, though they likely would wait about a year for more details of the project to develop.
The Ho-Chunk Nation plans to construct a casino on 32 acres of land on Willowbrook Road near Interstate 90.
The proposed casino will encompass 45,000 square feet and would include a 35,000 square-foot convention center, 300-room hotel, 2,200 slot machines and 50 table games.
“Our intentions are to come in here and work collaboratively and collectively as partners with this community to build a casino for the benefit of both of us,” said Daniel Brown, former vice president of the Ho-Chunk Nation, during a public meeting in January. “We have every intention of making it a magnificent facility, and we intend to make it first class. We want to make it state-of-the-art.”
The casino could employ up to 2,000 people and would create about 500 construction jobs. Brown said the Ho-Chunk Nation plans to invest about $200 million into the project.