Gov. Tony Evers has signed an amendment to the state’s gaming compact with the Oneida Nation allowing its casinos to offer betting on sports and other events, a first for Wisconsin.

In a press conference yesterday with Oneida Chairman Tehassi Hill, Oneida Vice-chairman Brandon Stevens and Administration Secretary Joel Brennan, Evers praised the move as an opportunity to increase employment and revenue opportunities for the northeastern tribe. The guv also said it’s a signal of the state’s continued partnership with the Oneida Nation and other tribal nations in Wisconsin.

“The Oneida Nation and all of Wisconsin tribal nations play a vital role in our state’s culture, our history, economy and of course, our future,” he said. “My commitment remains to continuing to strengthen our partnerships, respect tribal sovereignty above all and work together to tackle the challenges we face.”

The compact amendment now heads to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which will have 45 days to review the amendment before approving or denying it.

Stevens said the move will help increase tourism revenue for the tribe and the rest of northeastern Wisconsin as those who wager must physically visit the tribal lands if they want to pick up their winnings. Bettors would be able to place wagers online, but they would have to be on certain tribal lands to do so.

“Signing this amendment brings us one step closer to legalizing sports wagering in Wisconsin,” Stevens said. “But what it also does is continue to bring more tourism dollars to the local area, which helps all of our businesses. So as we continue to grow and expand our business here, northeast Wisconsin will also benefit.”

While the proposed amendment would allow betting on sports events, that would not include Wisconsin collegiate or high school sports. It would also mean no betting on elections.

If the BIA approves the amendment proposal, the Oneida Nation would then propose to the state other events that could be bet on, such as televised award shows.

See the release here.

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