Casino Vote Sends Clear Message

By: Stacy Eckes
By: Stacy Eckes

Voters in Wausau have sent a clear message, they do not want a casino in their city. Sixty-five percent of the voters said no in the casino referendum. 35 percent said yes.

The hot topic brought many voters to the polls. In Wausau, voter turnout was 67 percent.

City leaders said all along, a casino would bring a lot of money into Wausau to help ease a tightening budget. Now, a "no-casino vote" may come at a price for Wausau taxpayers.

"People have decided it's not worth the trade-off. But there are going to be trade-offs made in terms of services, expenses and taxes. How much remains to be seen," said Jim Rosenberg, Wausau City Council President.

The idea of a casino may be over for Wausau, but other Central Wisconsin communities could soon be faced with the same question.

"The City of Wausau is out of the debate right now, but that doesn't mean a casino issue couldn't re-emerge around here and that's my concern. I wouldn't want the city to endure all of the downsides we talked about in the discussion and have none of the benefits," Rosenberg added.

A lobbyist working with the Ho-Chunk Tribal Nation and the City of Wausau says, the tribe has been looking at several other locations for a casino in Central Wisconsin.