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New Lac du Flambeau Casino Could Be Two Years AwaySubmitted: 04/23/2013

Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

SHULLSBURG - Little Shullsburg in southwestern Wisconsin doesn't have much of a skyline.

But a Northwoods tribe wants to change that with a new 10-story casino.

Lac du Flambeau tribal members have pushed for a large casino near Shullsburg, near Platteville, for more than a decade.

Monday night, hundreds of local people, elected officials, and Lac du Flambeau representatives packed into Shullsburg to talk about the casino plans.

Dubuque Telegraph-Herald reporter Andy Piper was at the meeting and spoke with us Tuesday.

"As far as the people down here go, I don't really see a whole lot of push-back as far as 'who do these people think they are, coming down here and building a big facility in our town'. People are really welcoming to that," Piper says.

The casino would include restaurants, a spa, and even a sportsman's club.

Lac du Flambeau tribal chairman Tom Maulson guessed it would create 600 jobs in the depressed Lafayette County area.

About 85 percent of the casino's jobs would be filled by locals.

"All in all, they figured at the very best, if things went exactly right, which probably won't happen, they thought they could be breaking ground in a couple of years. People in Shullsburg are patient for this one," Piper says.

The plan still needs to go through an environmental study and get approval from the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs and the governor's office.

If it's approved, it could break ground in 2015.

Off-reservation gaming is not uncommon for Northwoods tribes.

The Forest County Potawatomi runs Potawatomi Bingo Casino in Milwaukee.

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