Governor Walker talks Kenosha Casino

CREATED Dec. 17, 2013

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A final decision on the Kenosha casino is about to move into a new, critical phase.

Governor Scott Walker is ready to make his next move after his team has been working behind closed doors on Hard Rock's $800 million proposal for a Kenosha Casino.

TODAY'S TMJ4 has learned he is about to get some outside help.

"There's been movement but we are still a ways off," said Governor Walker in a one on one interview with Charles Benson.

The Ho Chunk and Potawatomi remain vehemently opposed to Menominee's plans to build a Kenosha Casino with the Florida based Seminole Tribe.

To help break the stalemate the Governor will use tax dollars to hire outside advisers as early as next week.

Walker: I think it's really important to have as many objective sources looking at this to help us really mediate what I think will hopefully be a win-win opportunity.
Benson: So you will hire a third party to look at the numbers?
Walker: Yes.

There are lots of numbers. The Potawatomi worry their casino and Milwaukee would lose 3,000 jobs and millions in revenue. The Menominee say the Kenosha area would gain 5,000 jobs and bring millions of dollars to the state.

Walker: Bringing in an independent source will help because that gets somebody that we can point to and say they've looked at the data and this is their conclusion because as you can imagine they are pretty far apart.
Benson: Give me a sense of 2014, would you make a predication that you would be able to have a ground breaking ceremony for a Kenosha Casino?
Walker: Oh, I don't know. A lot of facts will tie into that.
It's not just a green light and yes. It's a yes and then depending on the conditions that would be in place with other tribes or with the compacts, they'd have to show they could meet those conditions before they could move forward.

Governor Walker says a final decision is months away.