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Beloit Casino Project awaits courts

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September 29, 2009

BELOIT, WI - The St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin were notified last week that oral arguments are scheduled to begin November 13th for their lawsuit against the federal government regarding the Beloit Casino Project.

Circuit Judges Judith Rogers and Thomas Griffith and Senior Circuit Judge Laurence Silberman will hear arguments that former Secretary of Interior Dirk Kempthorne improperly changed policies of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in the final days of the Bush Administration. This comes a year following a dismissal of the case by U.S. District Court judge.

"The notification appears routine," Beloit Casino Project spokesman Joseph Hunt said. "We understand that the Bureau of Indian Affairs is rethinking their off-reservation policy. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that they're taking a close look at policies that were put into place by the previous administration, and we're eagerly awaiting some kind of word from the Department of Interior on our application."

Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, said the lawsuit must be resolved before the U.S.
Interior Department will take further action on the tribe's casino application. "It will get played out, unfortunately, in the courts," she said.

The St. Croix and Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa have been working for ten years to bring a casino to Beloit.

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