Q: Why can Native American tribes run casinos in Wisconsin when municipalities and other businesses can’t?
A: Federal law stipulates that tribes can operate “gaming” or gambling facilities on tribal land to promote “tribal economic development, self-sufficiency and strong tribal governments.”
The commission is tasked with preventing organized crime or other corruption in the operation, ensuring the games are played fairly and ensuring the tribe benefits from the funds raised.
Wisconsin has bans on most forms of gambling with some exceptions for licensed raffles or bingo games held by charitable organizations and tribal gaming, according to the state Division of Gaming.
The state has gaming agreements with all 11 of Wisconsin’s federally recognized tribes. Those agreements include regulations and conditions for each tribe’s gambling operations.
— Shelley K. Mesch