The purpose of the Shullsburg Gaming Work Group is to prepare detailed information regarding the opportunity for an off reservation facility in Shullsburg, Wisconsin. The findings of the Work Group will be presented to the Tribe and a decision as to whether or not to proceed will be answered via a Tribal Referendum.
Since the passage of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) in 1988 Indian Gaming has become the single most effective model to build tribal economies, nationwide. Indian Gaming has evolved into a multi billion dollar a year industry that employs hundreds of thousands of Indians and non-Indians alike.
Written into IGRA was a stipulation that permitted, under very specific circumstances, tribes to locate Class III casinos off of the reservation. From 1988 to 2011 only three tribes were successful in gaining this special approval, though many, including the LDF Tribe, had applied. Many good applications were submitted but were not finalized at the Washington BIA. In 2008 the BIA rewrote the criteria for approval and summarily dismissed or denied applications the day after the new rules took effect. The LDF Shullsburg application was one of them. However, as a result of nationwide criticism by tribal leaders and no doubt helped by lawsuits by tribes, the Department of Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs, in June of 2011, rescinded the rules change and the process has begun to move forward again. Two applications have since been approved, two have been denied, and more are under consideration.
In December of 2011 LDF Tribal Leaders decided to take a fresh look at the Shullsburg application and a working group was formed. By March of 2012 the Tribe authorized the submission of a new Shullsburg Casino Fee to Trust Application. A very careful study of the project is underway including, due to drastic changes in the economy, a new feasibility study. The short term goal of the Workgroup is to thoroughly assess the Shullsburg Casino opportunity and to present its findings to the membership.
LDF tribal members went to the polls on Wednesday, September 19 to cast their ballots in a special referendum on whether or not to move forward with the Shullsburg trust land off reservation casino question. Click here to see the results