Seminole Tribe Of Florida Looks To Expand Into Wisconsin Again

Written By JR Duren on July 25, 2022 - Last Updated on July 31, 2022
Seminole Tribe is trying to expand into Wisconsin again

The Seminole Tribe of Florida‘s casino empire continues to grow. The tribe owns 11 Hard Rock properties across the US. Now, the Seminole Tribe is trying to expand into Wisconsin again.

The Seminole Tribe operates six Florida casinos. Two of them are Hard Rock properties. Five of the tribe’s 11 Hard Rock properties are located in the Midwest. The tribe has one property in development in Bristol, VA.

The tribe has partnered with the Menominee Tribe to build a casino on the west side of Kenosha, WI. The two tribes will work together to develop nearly 60 acres alongside a highway. According to local development authority records, the tribe paid $15.2 million for the land.

Hard Rock International, which the Seminole Tribe owns, released a statement from COO Jon Lucas.

“Hard Rock has a long-standing partnership with the Menominee Tribe and is proud to support them in their continued efforts to bring a world-class gaming and entertainment resort to the Kenosha community.”

Project scaled back from 2015 effort

The Seminole Tribe purchased four plots of land bisected by a road – two plots on each side. While the two plots on the left side of the road are adjacent, the two plots on the right are not. An equipment company and recycling center site between the tribe’s properties to the north and south.

There has been no mention of the tribe trying to buy out the two companies. What may happen is that a casino and hotel may sit on the right side of the road and parking on the left side.

Just a couple of minutes south of the land is a busy area that’s home to:

  • Several hotels
  • Big-box retailers
  • Restaurants
  • A golf course

The development is in its early stages. The next steps include talking with the city and the county to gain approval to develop the property. It will be a Hard Rock branded property that’s scaled back compared to the one the Menominee Tribe hoped to build with the Seminole in 2015.

Regardless of size, the casino will provide a financial boost for the tribe, which is one of the poorest in the state, said Menominee Chairman Ronald J. Corn, Sr.

“We need to make greater investments into health care for our children and elders. We need to make more investments into educating our young people. And we need to do more to reduce the high levels of poverty, hunger and unemployment on our reservation. A casino and entertainment center in the city of Kenosha is the best path for our tribe to obtain the resources to help achieve those important goals.”

Wisconsin casino expands Seminole’s worldwide reach

If approved, the Kenosha property will be the Seminole Tribe’s first in Wisconsin after a failed attempt at an $800 million property in 2015. Along with the property being developed in Virginia, the Wisconsin project would give the tribe 13 casinos across the US.

The tribe also operates casinos in the Dominican Republic and Vancouver, Canada. It is currently developing a second Canadian property in Ottawa.

In total, its North American portfolio could soon contain 22 properties.

This is an important factor to consider as sports betting looms large in Florida. The tribe tried to control Florida sports betting completely. That attempt failed. It’s possible the next sports betting launch could be open to non-Seminole entities.

Should that be the case, the tribe’s considerable casino holdings should buoy any revenue lost to other sports-betting operators.

Photo by Shutterstock
JR Duren Avatar
Written by
JR Duren

J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

View all posts by JR Duren