Kenosha Hard Rock Casino proposal, public to weigh in on latest push

KENOSHA, Wis. - A Hard Rock Casino could be coming to Kenosha after years of effort, but some people don't think the city is playing its cards right.

A meeting Thursday night, Nov. 9, will allow the public to give their opinion on whether they want to see it happen. The special Common Council will make a recommendation on moving forward with the proposal.

"It’s going to bring some tourism dollars in – highly beneficial to the city of Kenosha," said Ald. Dominic Ruffalo.

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The land for the proposed casino is on County Highway K off I-94 and would take over an area that is currently farmland.

"Bristol owns the land right now, but it’s an agreement if the deals go through, they’re going to sell to the Menominee," Ruffalo said.

<div>Proposed site for Kenosha Hard Rock Casino</div>
Proposed site for Kenosha Hard Rock Casino

Ruffalo said the Menominee tribe would run the casino, and the city of Kenosha would own the land. He supports it, thinking it'll bring tourism and millions of dollars to the city. But not everyone is for it.

"People think it’s going to bring you jobs – it’s going to bring you more poverty," said Quentin Jackson, Kenosha County resident and owner of Lakeside Auto and Transport. He also thinks the casino would take jobs away from businesses already struggling with staffing.

"You can’t go into a place and get service because people need help, so you bring a casino in here – what do you think is going to happen?"

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This is not the first effort to get a casino in Kenosha. Eight years ago, a different Hard Rock was proposed to go at the greyhound racetrack site. Scott Walker, who was governor at the time, rejected it at the eleventh hour. This time around, it's too early to tell what is in the dealer's hand.

The Common Council will vote on the agreement Nov. 20. It would then need to be approved at the state and federal level.