UNDATED (WSAU) A new study shows that Wisconsin’s Indian casino market is saturated, and new gambling houses would just take money away from the current ones without helping the state’s economy. The Wisconsin Policy Research Institute found that there’s an overall flat demand for casino gambling, at a time when the federal government is considering plans for new off-reservation casinos at Kenosha and Beloit.
The study’s author, U-W Green Bay professor Daniel Alesch, says new gaming halls will only result in more competition in the forms of higher prizes and smaller profits – and some casinos could end up closing. The report was released yesterday, the same day that state auditors said the profits from Wisconsin’s 25 casinos rose 4.3-percent last year, to almost $567-million. The tribes are required to give some of their profits to the state – and those payments totaled $52-million last year, up from $50-million the year before. But total revenues were down at the casinos. The state said they brought in almost $1.2-billion dollars last year, a drop of over two-and-a-half percent. Alesch argues that any new casino would sap revenues from another gaming house – and the state government’s total take would probably not increase, either. But Menominee tribal chairman Craig Corn says it still makes sense for his group to open a casino at Kenosha – because if it doesn’t, gamblers from that area would play in nearby Illinois. The Potawatomi tribe disagrees. It has argued for years that a new Kenosha casino would take $150-million a year from the Potawatomi Casino in Milwaukee.