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Potawatomi's Milwaukee casino revenue increases 1.7% as tribe braces for competition


Gamblers lost at least $415 million at the Forest County Potawatomi casino in Milwaukee over the last fiscal year, about 1.7% more than they lost the previous year.

Wisconsin tribes’ casino revenue is confidential, but the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel was able to calculate the figures, since the Potawatomi pay the city and county of Milwaukee 1.5% of its net win. The tribe paid about $5.9 million to each government entity for the year that ended June 30. That compares with $4.4 million to each entity in 2021.

The net win doesn’t include revenue generated by the casino’s restaurants, concerts and hotel. The tribe also is required to pay the state $20 million as part of its gaming compact.

The Potawatomi are preparing to deal with competing casinos opening in downtown Chicago; Waukegan, Illinois; and Beloit. The tribe last year announced plans for a $100 million renovation that includes adding 1,800 slot machines, a new bar and a new restaurant and room for high-limit gamblers with a craft bar, a kitchen featuring a brick oven, and a stage for live performances.

“The big concerns are we can we grow our revenue in this competitive market,” said Jeff Crawford, the tribe's attorney general.

The country's 519 Indian casinos raked in $40.9 billion in their last fiscal year, according to the National Indian Gaming Commission, a 4.9% increase over the previous year’s total of $39 billion.

Gaming revenue at Nevada casinos increased 10.5%, from $13.4 billion in 2021 to $14.8 billion in 2022.

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