Another Wisconsin tribe that gets sports bets at their casino and estates

Wisconsinits are slowly getting more options for retail sports betting and mobile betting while on Indian reservations.

Last updated: November 24, 2022 2:12 PM ET
Reading time: 2 minutes

Event betting is beginning to flourish in the Badger State now that the legal groundwork has been laid for another tribal casino to offer sports betting in Wisconsin.

A statement in the November 17 issue of the Federal Register, the official journal of the US federal government, announced approval of an amendment to an agreement between the Sokaogon Chippewa Community and the state of Wisconsin.

This updated agreement, which went into effect on November 17th, allows for legal sports betting.

“The change allows the Tribe to place long-distance and retail bets on reservation that meet the Tribe’s minimum internal control standards and game rules, which the state and the Tribe have agreed to,” the statement said.

Super Bowl ready

With the change in effect, this means another federally recognized Native American tribe in Wisconsin will offer sports betting in person and through online sports betting sites, albeit sites that only operate in certain locations in the state. The Sokaogon Chippewa tribe owns and operates the Mole Lake Casino and Lodge, which at some point seems like a logical place for a brick-and-mortar sportsbook.

A press release announcing the agreement in September said it would “open the door to the Sokaogon Chippewa community to begin offering sports betting and other forms of event wagering at their existing Mole Lake Casino & Lodge as well as mobile Offer betting on other properties within their reservation Time for the Super Bowl and College Bowl games.”

While statewide mobile sports betting is yet to come for Wisconsinites, the state of Midwest is surrounded by peers who allow such betting, such as Iowa and Illinois. Lawmakers in nearby Minnesota have also made several runs to legalize sports betting and may do so again in 2023.

In the meantime, however, Wisconsinitans are slowly getting more and more retail sports betting and mobile betting opportunities while on tribal land. The Sokaogon agreement is one of several reached over the past two years between the tribes and Governor Tony Evers, who was recently re-elected.

The amended Sokaogon Pact was announced on September 30, and the agreement was sent to the US Department of the Interior for 45 days of review and eventual approval.

“This change will generate additional revenue for the tribe and our state, boost local tourism and support jobs in northern Wisconsin – and it’s a win-win for everyone,” Evers said in a press release.

Registration for sports betting

The agreement is similar to agreements with the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, the Oneida Nation, the St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin, the Forest County Potawatomi Tribe, and the Menominee Tribe. Wisconsin has 11 state-recognized tribes, so there is room for more agreements as well.

It’s unclear exactly when wagering will begin at Mole Lake Casino, but betting there will be overseen by a branch of the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA).

“It is our common interests that help make these negotiations so successful for the tribe and the state,” DOA Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld said in the Sept. 30 release. “We look forward to continuing our collaborative relationship with the Sokaogon Chippewa community.”

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