UPDATED Thursday, May 16, 2013 --- 10:50 a.m.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Ho-Chunk Nation leader says he'll fight the state's efforts to close the poker room at the tribe's Madison casino.
The state Justice Department is suing the Black River Falls-based tribe seeking an injunction to shut down the Ho-Chunk's electronic poker games. The state says the Vegas-style games are only allowed at the Ho-Chunk's other casinos, not in Madison which is limited to bingo-style games.
The Journal Sentinel says the tribe argues the computerized poker games are legal because gamblers play against each other and not against the house, thereby making them Class II games. A Class II casino isn't regulated by the state.
Tribal president Jon Greendeer says he has an opinion from the National Indian Gaming Commission that says the games are legal.
Copyright 2013: Associated Press
UPDATED: Thursday, December 6, 2012 -- 7:15 a.m.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A federal judge says the Ho-Chunk tribe can continue to offer electronic poker at its Madison casino.
U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled an arbitrator exceeded his power and did not have authority to ban the game. The dispute with the state is over how electronic poker is classified. The Ho-Chunk say it's Class II gaming, which the tribe can offer without a compact. The state says it's Class III gaming, which does require a compact.
Department of Justice spokeswoman Dana Brueck tells the State Journal a decision has not been made on whether to take the case to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Copyright 2012: Associated Press
UPDATED Wednesday, July 18, 2012 --- 7:45 a.m.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state of Wisconsin is asking a federal judge to enforce an arbitrator's ruling that prevents the Ho-Chunk from offering electronic poker at Ho-Chunk Madison (formerly known as Dejope Bingo Hall).
The state says the Ho-Chunk have continued to offer the game despite a ruling from an independent arbitrator last month.
The Department of Administration argues the arbitrator's decision was enforceable immediately. The state argues a compact between it and the tribe calls for the Ho-Chunk to abide by the arbitrator's decision.
Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison has offered eight electronic poker tables since late in 2010. The State Journal (http://bit.ly/MvMNLK ) says Dane County voters rejected a referendum in 2004 that would have allowed expanded, casino-style gaming.
Information from: Wisconsin State Journal, http://www.madison.com/wsj
Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.
Posted Wednesday, June 13, 2012 --- 2:35 p.m.
The Ho-Chunk Nation is currently evaluating an arbitrator’s decision that poker is a class III game.
This opinion means poker would not be allowed at Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison (formerly known as DeJope).
However, Ho-Chunk Nation maintains that poker is a class II game.
Class II games are permitted at Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison. Class III games are not.
According to a statement from Ho-Chunk Nation, the Nation received an opinion from the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC), insisting that poker is a class II game. This occurred before poker was offered at Ho-Chunk Gaming in Madison.
Then, in May of this year, an arbitrator appointed to resolve the dispute between the State of Wisconsin and the Ho-Chunk Nation issued his opinion. In his opinion dated May 1, 2012, William A. Norris wrote that "the statutory language is clear and unambiguous and, thus, the non-banking poker offered at DeJope is not a Class II game, as it is "expressly prohibited" by Wisconsin law.
In a statement released today, Ho-Chunk Nation says it is evaluating the decision.
Here is the following statement from Ho-Chunk Nation:
(Black River Falls, June 13, 2012) The Ho-Chunk Nation is currently evaluating the arbitrator’s decision holding that poker is a Class III game at Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison. Prior to offering Class II poker at the facility, the Nation sought and received an opinion from the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) indicating the game is Class II. The NIGC is the federal regulatory body that oversees Class II Indian gaming. At this time, the Nation plans to continue to offer Class II poker while they work cooperatively with the state to resolve the issue.
Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison recently launched electronic poker tables. It is described on their website as: "Our electronic poker (e-poker) tables are a revolutionary poker table that combines the best of traditional and online poker, for the ultimate poker experience."