Thursday, January 8, 2009

Feds Reject Menominee's Proposed Casino In Wisconsin

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The U.S. Interior Department rejected the Menominee Indian Tribe's application for a casino at Kenosha's Dairyland Greyhound Park in Wisconsin.

A spokesman for the project calls the outright rejection a "speed bump" so it is believed that the Tribe will continue to pursue seeking approvals for the project.

The Tribe was notified of the rejection yesterday. The rejection stems from guidelines implemented by the Interior Department that restricts off-reservation casinos from being built far from a tribe's reservation. The proposed Kenosha casino was to be about 200 miles from the Menominee reservation.

The Menominee Tribe has filed a suit in federal court to overturn the Interior Department's guidelines, which were implemented last January.

The Mohegan Tribe would have developed and managed the proposed casino. Thus far, the Mohegan Tribe has written off $3.5 million and set aside reserves for another $9.5 million related to the project, amounting to $13 million or close to $12,000 per adult tribal member.

It is unclear how much more money the Tribe has spent on the project other than the above amounts that could be identified in financial statement notes submitted by the Tribe to the federal Securities and Exchange Commission.