MILWAUKEE — Sports fans rejoice as Milwaukee’s first-ever sportsbook is now open at Potawatomi Hotel Casino ahead of a big weekend for college basketball.
Sports games and betting lines light up screens inside the casino and eager sports fans wasted no time placing their first legal event wagers in southeastern Wisconsin.
“We’ve been doing gaming here for 30 years and it’s slots and tables and food. Nobody’s ever seen sports book,” said Potawatomi Hotel Casino’s CEO Dominic Ortiz.
Ortiz says Friday’s unveiling comes after three years of legwork. The lengthy timeline included clearing federal regulation hurdles, renegotiating its gambling contract with Gov. Tony Evers and getting all of its technology in place.
“What are you expecting for revenue, not only for the Forest County Potawatomi Community, but for the state as well?” TMJ4 reporter Ben Jordan asked.
“It’s beyond the revenue,” Ortiz said. “You have to think about the long-term implications and positioning yourself for the state of Wisconsin.”
Ortiz says the casino is taking an aggressive approach to engage a different demographic.
“We know that 90 percent of the people that come in to place a sports bet will be new to our database,” he said.
Oneida Casino in Green Bay became the first in the state to offer legal retail sports gambling a year and a half ago.
As more tribal nations in Wisconsin follow their lead, 24 other states have taken it one step further by going online, according to the American Gaming Association.
Wisconsin is one of nine states that have entered the retail landscape, meaning sports bets need to be placed on casino property.
“Would you be opposed to online sports betting in Wisconsin?” TMJ4 reporter Ben Jordan asked.
“Look, the digital front’s going to come whether I like it or not,” Ortiz replied. “For me, the longest runway I could get would be great. I will tell you it’s an inevitable future.”
Ortiz believes that inevitable future is five to 15 years down the road as Wisconsin would need to amend its constitution to legalize the activity.
Date of hosting: 3rd April 2023
Potawatomi CEO says legal online sports betting is the ‘inevitable future’ in Wisconsin was first seen on Sports Betting Operator