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State in a Casino Bind

A Republican lawmaker says the Governor should lock the doors on the Ho–Chunk Casinos if the tribe doesn't pay the state. But the Governor says that's not possible.

The Ho–Chunk Nation isn't paying $30 million promised under a gaming compact that had parts of it struck down by the State Supreme Court. The tribe and the state are negotiating a new deal.

In the meantime, a state lawmaker, Representative Dean Kaufert says the Governor should shut down the casinos to speed up the talks. "I think the threat of locking the doors and cutting off that money spigot is pretty serious. And I think at that point serious conversations would take place."

Governor Doyle says, "Indian gaming is controlled by federal law and when they are operating on Indian land as they do the only authority that can go in and shut down an Indian casino on Indian land is the federal government."

Doyle says he is confident the state will get the money sometime in June. He says if negotiations continue to stall they can have an arbitrator decide how much the tribe owes.


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