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City Stews Over Request for DeJope Liquor License


The chips are down. The Ho-Chunk nation asks the city of Madison for a liquor license at DeJope Bingo Hall.

The license would allow the tribe to sell alcohol in the restaurant and near the machines but not in the bingo area, unless it's being used for other entertainment.

Ken Kamp, citizen member and chair of the city's Alcohol License Review Committee (ALRC) says, "I don't really have a concern, I hope they fall in line with everyone else and that would be wonderful."

But others, like the Madison Police Department, are worried about underage drinking.

"Our concern is that there is some sort of plan put in place that will restrict underage persons from having access to alcohol within the facility," says Lieutenant David Jugovich.

Another concern, brought out by Mothers Against Drunk Driving: no public transportation for those who drink too much.

"I felt it was unfair that DeJope was singled out we passed four or five licenses before," says Kamp of Wednesday night's meeting, "One on the other side of Sprecher Road and MADD didn't have any problem with those places, it just seemed like they had something in for this one."

Kamp says it is estimated alcohol would bring in only 1% of the hall's total revenue. Food makes up 3%. The rest comes from gaming.

That's why he says the liquor license should be manageable.

"To my mind, if they would accept the no smoking ban and allow the city police department in there as need be, everything would be copasetic."

The ALRC says if the city attorney and the Madison Police Department can reach an agreement with the tribe, they will recommend the common council grant Ho-Chunk the license.


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