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Planned Ho-Chunk Nation casino in Beloit gets final approval

BELOIT, Wis. (AP) — The Bureau of Indian Affairs on Friday approved the Ho-Chunk Nation’s application for a casino in Beloit, more than two decades after the city residents voted in favor of the complex.

The plan places 33 acres of land into trust for the project, which is expected to produce 3,000 construction jobs and 1,300 permanent jobs. Officials say the tribe plans to handle design and construction for the project, including the necessary infrastructure.

The complex would include one of the largest casinos in the state as well as a 300-room hotel with more than 45,000 square feet of meeting and convention space, and a 40,000-square-foot indoor waterpark.

Beloit voters approved the project in a 1999 referendum. The tribe purchased the land in 2009 and has been working to win federal and state approval to build a casino there since 2012. Gov. Tony Evers signed off on the plan more than a year ago.

It will be the tribe’s fourth casino in Wisconsin, including one in Nekoosa, one in Baraboo and one in Black River Falls.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin said the new casino should provide a long-term source of revenue for essential housing, as well as education and health programs for tribal members.

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