Tribal Organization: Ho-Chunk Nation
Near I-39 / I-90
The Ho-Chunk Nation has proposed building a $405 million casino in Beloit, Wisconsin near the Illinois border. It would be located across from the Wisconsin Welcome Center along I-39/I-90.
The City of Beloit and Rock County have each made a revenue sharing agreement with the Ho-Chunk. Each would be paid up to $3 million annually.
The U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs has been reviewing the Ho-Chuck's application for the Beloit casino for the past five years. That decision is pending.
If approved, an environmental impact report would be prepared and followed by public hearings. Final approval would come from the state governor.
If all of that is approved, construction could start as early as 2020 and completion by 2021.
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April 16, 2020
The federal Bureau of Indian Affairs today notified the Ho-Chunk Nation that the U.S. Department of Interior has approved the tribe's plan to build a casino resort in Beloit, Wisconsin. The 33-acre building site wll be transferred into federal trust for the tribe and allowed gambling under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
Before transferring the land into federal trust, the U.S. Department of Interior requires the approval of the Wisconsin governor. In the past Gov. Tony Evers has indicated his support for this casino.
If the governor approves, the Ho-Chunk will decide whether to proceed with the full project in phases or scale back some of the project in light of the planned Hard Rock Casino in nearby Rockford, Illinois.
July 18, 2019
Ho-Chunk Nation says Hard Rock Casino in Rockford, IL will "make the region a powerhouse."
While the Ho-Chunk nation waits for federal approval to build an Indian casino in Beloit, Wisconsin, Hard rock International will file an application in Illionois to build a casino in Rockford only 18 miles away.
Here is the reaction of the Ho-Chunk Nation to that announcement.
Video courtesy of CHANNEL 3000
July 05, 2019
While the Ho-Chunk Nation waits for a green light from the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs to build a casino in Beloit, Wisconsin, the State of Illinois has authorized a casino license for the city of Rockford. The two cities are only 18 miles apart.
Video is courtesy of Channel 3000 / News 3 Now
Details of the Rockford casino will not be available until a license application is accepted by the Illinois Gaming Board. Applications must be submitted by October 25. The Rockford casino license will limit the number of slot machines and table positions to 2,000.
The Beloit plan will cost $405 million to build a casino with 2,200 slot machines and 50 table games, a 300-room hotel and an indoor water park.
June 1, 2019
The Beloit Casino Project has reached an important milestone in its progress towards federal approval. The Bureau of Indian Affairs has published a Notice of Availability of a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Beloit casino site.
The Notice of Availability opens a 30-day period for public comments and sets July 1, 2019 as the date of record for the Bureau of Indian Affairs to publish its decision on whether the Ho-Chunk Nation can proceed with the Beloit project.
The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and other related documents are available for public viewing at www.ho-chunkbeloiteis.com.
November 09, 2018
On Friday the federal Bureau of Indian affairs produced the environmental impact statement for the land that would be used for the proposed Beloit Ho-Chunk casino. The location would take over 74 acres along Interstate 39-90 and Willowbrook Road. It would cost $405 million to build the casino resort.
With the completion of the environmental report, the project moves to the next stage. On December 11 a public hear will be held about the proposed casino. The hearing would be held in Beloit at Aldrich Middle School.
The public will be allowed to submit comments on the project until December 24.
If the project is given final approval, it will create thousands of construction related jobs. As well as 1,500 permanent positions once the casino resort is opened.
August 03, 2018
On August 17 the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs will review that proposed $405 million Beloit casino. The casino project is owned by the Ho-Chunk Nation. For many years the project has been in the works.
The meeting will be held in Washington, D.C. If the bureau gives approval the federal register will list the project. Officials for Beloit believe this will help the large scale development move forward.
A formal process and an established timeline would be developed if the proposed casino can be placed on the federal register. A series of public hearings will also need to be held.
The approval from the governor would be the next step after the public hearings. A one year time limit would be given for the decision from the governor.
The Ho-Chunk Nation are hopeful to begin construction on the casino project by 2020.
It will be located to the west of Interstate 90/39. Near Colley and Willowbrook roads.
Support for the casino has been strong with city officials. Last week several of them delivered letters by hand to U.S. Sen Ron Johnson. This was while he was visiting. The letters were to ask him for his support for the project by writing a letter to the bureau.
Plans for the proposed casino project include a hotel, indoor waterpark, and convention center.
An estimated 1,500 jobs will be created for the project. Nearby businesses will also benefit with another 1,000 jobs in creation.
In 2012 an intergovernmental agreement was made between the tribe and the city. A settlement with area tribes that would prevent them from stopping the Ho-Chunk Nation's project was made in 2014.
March 5, 2018
Plans have been announced for a new casino and water park to be opened by 2021 in Beloit. The project is owned by the Ho-Chunk nation. It has over ten years in development. The next step has started. The tribe is now seeking legal counsel to move forward with the project.
The casino and water park will be a very large undertaking. The casino would operate over 2,000 slot machines. 300 guest rooms are planned for the hotel. There will also be a convention center, shopping, and five restaurants. The water park would be 40,000 square feet.
Near Colley Road off I-90 is the planned location. Construction has been approved by the Beloit City Council and Rock County. The City of Beloit and the Ho-Chunk tribe have formed a partnership for the project. Construction jobs and related job services the construction will bring has been favorable by residents. When the project is completed over 1,500 jobs will be created and need to be filled.
There is some opposition to the casino project. Senator Dave Syverson from Illinois, believes that the convention center in Rockford could be affected. He also thinks that Milwaukee's BMO Harris Bank Center could also lose business.
Construction cannot proceed until other procedures occur first. The project must be approved by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Then Beloit has to host a forum for the public to make comments on the proposed project. After that step, the state governor must sign off on it. Then officials from the president's administration must also give approval.
The project is estimated to cost $405 million to complete.
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