Wisconsin: Bristol Village officials greenlight $15 million land sale tied to potential Hard Rock casino in Kenosha

Village of Bristol, Wisconsin officials have approved the sale of $15 million land to a company linked to Hard Rock International, with the potential aim of opening a casino in the town of Kenosha. The Bristol Village Board and the Community Development Authority gave the green light to the transaction in a unanimous decision on Tuesday evening.

Although Kenosha Landco Co. LLC officials have not officially stated what they intend to use the land for, the company’s primary address is the same as the Hard Rock, Florida headquarters.leading local media to speculate that the move could bring a new tribal casino closer to the area.

The transaction was for 60 acres on the east and west sides of 122nd Avenue. While he’s in Kenosha, he belongs to the villagereports Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Landco is set to pay more than $15 million to buy the property and now has to do the work to get it approved by the city of Kenosha.

There have been multiple efforts to build a casino in Kenosha since tribal casinos were legalized in the 1990s due to the city’s proximity to Milwaukee and Chicago.recalls the cited source. The new move would mark the second time Hard Rock has attempted to open a location near the state line.: The Menominee Tribe attempted to develop a casino resort in Kenosha with Hard Rock as a partner, but Governor Scott Walker vetoed the legislation in 2015.

An ad for Hard Rock's failed 2015 casino project

If it were to go ahead with casino plans for the area, Hard Rock would have to partner with a Wisconsin tribe for the project, given that they are the only ones allowed to own such sites in the State.. The tribe would then have to petition the federal government to place the land in trust – a process that could take years – and ultimately the incumbent governor would have unilateral power to approve or veto the off-reserve casino.

The Bristol Village Board’s decision to approve a letter of intent to purchase the land has already proven controversialreports SCS 58which cites reports from angry residents calling on the council to be transparent about the project.

“That local community and the local government and even the state governor will have no say, and as we know, these casinos have a lifespan,” said Lorri Pickens of Citizens Against Expanded Gambling, according to SCS. Groups opposed to new games of chance should rally against the plan.

While opponents say opening a casino could starve family stores of business and increase crime, supporters of the plan argue that the move would help generate revenue in the area. “I believe it is the obligation of the Village Board to try to maximize the return on this investment,” said Mike Farrell, chairman of Bristol Village..

Proponents believe a casino could help reduce property taxes and improve infrastructure. But while the Village of Bristol owns the property due to a boundary agreement, the land is in Kenosha, which means final approval must go through the city..

When asked on Wednesday if he would host a casino there, the Kenosha mayor said the city is “waiting to see what happens” with the sale of the property.according 12 News. The mayor further said that at this point, Kenosha officials have not entered into any negotiations or conversations “in any specific way” with the casino.

The Kenosha area already has two nearby casinos in Milwaukee and a new one just across the border in Waukegan, Illinois.. In addition, Hard Rock also has a casino in Rockford, Illinois; and the Ho-Chunk Tribe plans to open an off-booking casino in Beloit, Wisconsin.