Rockford casino not cause of Beloit casino delays, officials say

A casino proposal in the city of Rockford, Illinois, is not the cause behind a delay in the Beloit casino proposal plan, according to Ho-Chunk Nation public relations officer Ryan Greendeer.

Greendeer said even though he originally hoped to see ground broken on the project by the end of the summer, a lengthy period of deliberation from the Bureau of Indian Affairs is the cause of the delay.

“The Bureau of Indian Affairs sometimes gets sued over some of the most minutia of details in these applications.” Greendeer said. “So they’re going to be looking long and hard at this application before they do approve it.”

The proposal has been at the federal level since November 2018, and residents have shown up in support of the plan in months past.

This piece of land in Beloit was hopefully going to become Wisconsin’s newest casino.

In June, leaders were hopeful they could get something on the governor’s desk by the end of the summer. But now, nothing.

So what’s taking so long? Find out tonight on #News3Now at 5 and 6. pic.twitter.com/V0Kh0T8V0x

— Adam Duxter (@News3Adam) September 24, 2019

“I’m down in Beloit pretty often,” Greendeer said. “Every time I’m in Beloit, I’m hearing a lot of support from community members.”

Gov. Tony Evers has been public about his support for the plan, telling the Beloit Daily News he would sign the plan should it get to his desk.

On Tuesday, Evers commented publicly on the delays in the plan.

“We’re waiting on some final decisions from the federal government,” Evers said.

Greendeer said he’s hopeful the Bureau of Indian Affairs is on board with the plan. Yet, he doesn’t know when a “yes” could come.

“At this point, I’m not sure if we’ll have shovels in the dirt yet this year,” he said.

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