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And then there was Wisconsin.

Seemingly out of nowhere, and not on most radars, the Badger State today reached an agreement with the Oneida Nation on sports betting.

Governor Tony Evers said in a press statement he and Oneida Nation Chairman Tehassi Hill had signed a “historic compact” that will allow event wagering, including sports betting, for the first time in Wisconsin.

“I’m grateful to Chairman Hill and the Oneida General Tribal Council for their partnership on this historic compact amendment,” Evers said in the statement. “The Oneida Casino is a critical source of revenue and employment for Oneida Nation and this expansion will bring new opportunities for employment and revenue growth to the Tribe.”

Hill likewise lauded the agreement and noted that tourism is an “important component” of Wisconsin’s economy.

“This collaboration has been a great testament to intergovernmental agencies working together. When Oneida engaged with the State of Wisconsin by signing our first gaming compact in 1991, 30 years ago, we were a reservation with a struggling but growing economy. Since that time we have grown tremendously and can provide a better quality of life for our Oneida people and those who live on and around our reservation,” Hill said in a statement.   

When Can Cheeseheads Start Betting?

Since the agreement is between a state and a tribal nation, the Department of Interior must sign off on it. Deb Haaland, a member of the Laguna Pueblo, is the DOI Secretary and the first Native American to serve in a presidential cabinet. She has 45 days from today — so mid-August — to announce a decision. 

Evers, however, is confident the compact will be approved in time for the fall football season, according to the statement released by his office. 

It appears sports betting will be limited to on-site betting and not mobile apps throughout the state.  The statement says “[t]he compact amendment also allows for remote event wagering on land owned by the Nation or held in trust for the Nation by the federal government that contains a commercial building owned or leased by the Nation.”

The Wisconsin State Journal reports the language means a prospective bettor could use a mobile app while on tribal land, but not at home.  

The compact also limits wagers to events where contestants are 19 years of age or older and prohibits wagers on Wisconsin collegiate teams or on election outcomes.

Wisconsin joins a growing list of states which have reached compacts with Native American tribes this year in an effort to offer sports betting, including Connecticut, Florida, Arizona.  


About the Author
Mary M. Shaffrey

Mary M. Shaffrey

Mary Shaffrey is a writer and contributor for Gaming Today with a focus on legislation and political content. Mary is an award-winning journalist who co-authored "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Government." She has spent more than 20 years covering government, both at the state and federal level. As a fan of the Baltimore Orioles and the Providence College Friars she feels cursed. Luckily she is a hockey mom too so her spirits aren't totally shot.

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