Kenoshans await word on $800 million casino proposal

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 9.02.19 AMBy Emily Ottinger | Staff writer, Copy Editor

As Kenosha awaits a final decision from Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker on whether to allow the Menominee Nation to open a casino at the old location of Dairyland Greyhound Park, students are still debating if it is a good idea.

The $800 million casino proposal has been an idea that the Menominee Nation has been pushing for about 10 years. In October, the tribe announced they would team up with Hard Rock International to complete the casino at the site just west of the I-94 on Highway K.

The Kenosha complex will be about the size of the Po- tawatomi Bingo Casino in Milwaukee with the same amount of slot machines. Potawatomi recently started to take out ads in the Kenosha News to attract Kenosha residents to their ca- sino.

The casino itself will create jobs, an estimated 3,300 jobs, according to the proposal. The Menominee expect about 500 of those jobs will go to Racine residents, although this is not guaranteed. “They said people in Kenosha would have first crack at the jobs from the casino, but what if they are just saying that so we approve?” said Destiny Tucker, a Communications Academy senior.

Some students feel the casino would be good for the city and could help it economically.

“It provides a great financial opportunity for the town. With Chrysler gone, Kenosha is hurting for revenue,” said Robert Murray, a Kenosha Military Academy senior.

“The casino provides new jobs, creates disposable income for the city and will help small shop owners by increasing Kenosha tourism,” Murray said.

Although proponents of the casino argue that it could generate an economic boom, that doesn’t mean some people aren’t concerned about the project. Among the concerns, people fear that gambling addiction and criminal activity will increase.

“Bringing a casino could make people sell drugs to pay off debt and increase the current drug problem,” said Cheyenne Lalonde, Communications Academy senior.

“It’s so close to my house, and with family members in my household having addictions to gambling and alcohol, my concern for them grows,” said Julianna Briggs, a General Studies senior.

Overall, students are heavily debating the casino complex proposal because they expect they will experience effects from it, whether good or bad.