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Shawano Co. tribe withholds payment to state over casino dispute

Stockbridge-Munsee tribe President Shannon Holsey delivers the annual State of the Tribes address at the state Capitol in Madison, April 4, 2017. (WLUK/Courtney Ryan)

BOWLER (WLUK) – As promised, the Stockbridge-Munsee Tribe did not make a June 30 casino payment to the state because of a dispute regarding another tribe’s expansion.

A tribal spokesperson confirmed to FOX 11 that the $923,000 payment was not made.

"It is the State’s goal to maintain a good relationship with all of the Tribes of Wisconsin. The parties are currently litigating the dispute and we look forward to a resolution," said Steve Michels, Communications Director for the Department of Administration.

The Stockbridge-Munsee run the North Star Mohican Casino and Resort in Bowler. The tribe argues the $33 million expansion of the Ho-Chunk casino 17 miles away in Wittenberg is a violation of both federal law and the Ho-Chunk Nation's casino state compact. The state Department of Administration determined in September that the Ho-Chunk expansion does not violate its compact with the state.

Under the expansion that began last fall, the Ho-Chunk facility will increase the number of slot machines from more than 500 to nearly 800, add an area with high-limit gambling, as well as an 86-room hotel and 84-seat restaurant and bar.

A lawsuit on the issue filed in federal court by the Stockbridge-Munsee continues to proceed, with a pre-trial conference scheduled for July 27.

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