The state of Wisconsin and the St. Croix Chippewa Indians have signed a “historic” compact amendment which will allow the latter to offer event wagering on sports and non-sports events.
Signed by the governor of Wisconsin, Tony Evers, and St. Croix chair, William Reynolds, the amendment has been sent to the US Department of Interior where it will undergo a 45-day review.
On the amendment, Reynolds noted: “We are in exciting times here at St. Croix. The addition of sports wagering at the St. Croix casinos will give our tribe the ability to give our customers the most comprehensive gaming experience in the state of Wisconsin.
“We are greatly appreciative of the partnership governor Evers has provided to the tribes and we look forward to continuing this government-to-government relationship. Miigwetch.”
Echoing the thoughts of Reynolds, governor Evers expressed: “I’m grateful to chairman Reynolds and the St. Croix Chippewa tribal council for their efforts to negotiate this compact. Event wagering will bring new opportunities for employment and revenue growth to the tribe and provide a welcome boost to our recovering tourism and entertainment industries.”
The compact amendment follows months of negotiations between the St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin department of administration’s division of gaming, and was voted on by the St. Croix tribal council on November 30, 2021.
Moreover, the amendment also allows for remote event wagering on land owned by the tribe or held in trust by the federal government that contains a commercial building owned or leased by the tribe.
The St. Croix tribe has already begun construction of a large and modern sports book facility within its Turtle Lake casino as it expects the event wagering provisions of the compact to be approved.
DOA secretary, Joel Brennan, explained: “We are grateful to be able to work closely with the St. Croix Chippewa leadership on this agreement and look forward to continuing our partnership in support of this gaming compact for the benefit of the tribe and the state.”
The DOA’s Office of Indian gaming and regulatory compliance currently conducts on-site audits of casino operations, and under the amended compact will have oversight to ensure regulatory compliance and the integrity of event wagering.