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Senate President Mike Ellis questions governor's motives in casino flap

Wisconsin Senate President Mike Ellis (R-Neenah)
Wisconsin Senate President Mike Ellis (R-Neenah)

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The president of the Wisconsin Senate is questioning his own party’s governor, and his criteria for approving the proposed Kenosha casino.

Neenah Republican Mike Ellis is challenging the conditions placed by Scott Walker to get the governor’s necessary blessing for the Menominee Tribe’s long-proposed casino and resort.

Walker says he’ll approve it only if it results in no net increase in gambling – the community supports it – and all 10 other Wisconsin tribes approve.

That last condition seems impossible to meet, since the Kenosha project would cut into the Potawatomi tribe’s lucrative casino revenues in nearby Milwaukee. The Potawatomi has fought the Menominee project in the past, and it’s doing so again.

Senate President Ellis says Walker’s stand contradicts the free enterprise system. He says it’s like giving Menards the ability to block a new Fleet Farm store.

Critics like the group “Enough Already” say the Wisconsin casino market is saturated, and a new casino would only spread existing revenues rather than add new money.