MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers signed off Wednesday on the Ho-Chunk Nation’s plans to open a casino and entertainment complex in Beloit.
The U.S. Department of the Interior in April approved taking 32 acres in Beloit into trust for the purpose of developing the complex. Federal law gives governors the power to approve or reject off-reservation casinos.
Evers announced that he is concurring with the federal decision, saying the complex will more than 2,000 construction jobs and more than 1,500 long-term jobs. Evers promised when he was running for governor in 2019 that he would approve the project.
Ho-Chunk Nation Vice President Karena Thundercloud said in a news release that the tribe is “incredibly excited.”
The Department of the Interior now must issue a final determination on taking the land into trust. Evers and the Ho-Chunk then must amend the tribe’s gaming compact with the state.
The complex would include a 300-room hotel with more than 45,000 square feet of meeting and convention space as well as a 40,000-square-foot indoor waterpark.