Opinion Matters

With Gazette Opinion Editor Greg Peck

Should Wisconsin gamble on more casinos?

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Greg Peck
Friday, December 13, 2013

News comes almost daily regarding plans for more Indian casinos in Wisconsin. In today's Gazette, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that a new poll finds 53 percent of registered voters believe Gov. Walker should approve the Menominee tribe's proposed casino in Kenosha. That's a remarkable shift from a September poll that found an even split among respondents.

The Forest County Potawatomi, who see the Kenosha plan as a threat to profits at their Milwaukee casino, strongly oppose the Kenosha proposal.

The Ho-Chunk Nation, which has casinos near Wisconsin Dells and Madison, also oppose the Kenosha project. Of course, the Ho-Chunk want the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs and Walker to approve their plans for a Beloit casino. While a tribal spokesman said the new poll will have no effect on the Beloit plans, a Kenosha casino could cost business at the Beloit casino, if it ever opens.

I don't gamble at casinos. I'm just not interested in spending my limited recreational dollars that way. When my wife and I went to Vegas years ago, we dropped a few coins in a slot machine at the casino complex we stayed at just to say that, “Yes, we gambled.” Instead, we spent our time watching stage productions and sightseeing, including taking a bus tour to Hoover Dam.

I do, however, have friends and co-workers who like to gamble. I'm sure they would rather do that in Beloit than travel longer distances to satisfy their appetite for blackjack, slot machines and roulette.

Do you gamble at casinos? Do you favor the Kenosha plan? Do you want to see the Ho-Chunk win approval for their casino, hotel and convention center complex in Beloit? Could both casinos be built and survive, or would having casinos rise up in Kenosha and Beloit eventually just send one of them the way of Wisconsin's former greyhound racetracks?

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

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