Ho-Chunk Casino: Back and Ready to Deal

Ho-Chunk is back and ready to deal after having a long pause via state Supreme Court ruling, which was reversed few weeks ago. The games were pulled after the court ruled Gov. Jim Doyle's negotiations with state tribes violated state and federal constitutions.

According to Jon Greendeer, Ho-Chunk Casino Executive Administrative Officer, the ruling is a strong victory for both the state and the Ho-Chunk Nation. Greendeer also mentioned that it did provide more security in both employment and their future. "It also substantiated our position that the tenets of this compact were compliant with state, federal and tribal law," He continued.

"If state tribes are allowed to operate casinos they should be allowed to have the same kinds of games as other casinos," commented Rep. J.A. "Doc" Hines, R-Oxford. Most importantly, Hines said that the ruling will help the Ho-Chunk Nation continue to improve living conditions for tribal members.

The casino employs about 1,300 people offering 2,400 slot machines, 36 blackjack tables, 11 high-stakes tables a 500-seat bingo hall, 315 guest rooms and five restaurants according to the Ho-Chunk Nation.

About 70 percent of casino employees are non-tribal members, so the expected additional business from the new games will help them as well, Greendeer said. "The games were not the casino's biggest money-makers, but provided patrons more variety." He continued.

Greendeer hopes that the games will be back before the end of the year. Casino officials will re-evaluate how popular the games were when they were at the casino, and what people are looking for in gaming options, He said.