Wisconsin Sports Betting Begins at Oneida Casino in Green Bay

Posted on: December 1, 2021, 01:47h. 

Last updated on: December 2, 2021, 09:47h.

People in Wisconsin can finally gamble on sports legally after the first wager was placed this week at the Oneida Casino in Green Bay, adjacent to the city’s international airport.

Wisconsin sports betting Oneida Nation casino sportsbook
Alma Webster shows off the first legal sports bet placed in Wisconsin on November 30, 2021. The Oneida Casino Sportsbook is the first tribal casino to commence sports betting in the state. (Image: USA TODAY)

The Oneida Nation reached a new Class III gaming compact in July with the state, allowing it to operate sports betting. The terms were agreed upon by Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) and the Republican-controlled state legislature. The compact achieved federal approval, as necessary, from the US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs that same month.

Alma Webster and Sandra Brehmer, dubbed the Oneida Bingo Queens, helped the Oneida Nation embark into gaming back in the mid-1970s. They placed the first sports bets yesterday at Oneida Casino during the sportsbook’s grand opening ceremony. Each placed $5 on the New Orleans Saints to beat the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday Night Football tomorrow.

It’s awesome to think we’ve come this far to see this operation,” Brehmer said of the tribe beginning as a bingo-only gaming business to today running such a large casino with slots, tables, and now sports betting.

The Oneida Nation partnered with third-party sportsbook provider International Gaming Technology and its PlaySports turn-key platform to power the Oneida Casino Sportsbook. The casino offers more than a dozen self-service sports betting kiosks, as well as sportsbook team members who can help new bettors make their wagers and understand how it all works.

First in Wisconsin, But Not Last

Wisconsin does not have any commercial casinos. Instead, the state reserves slot machines and table games for its federally recognized tribes. There are currently 11 tribes that own 26 casinos across the state.

While the Oneida Casino isn’t the largest gaming floor in the Badger State, it’s less than five miles from Wisconsin’s most important sports venue — Lambeau Field. The Packers dominate the state’s sports scene. The Oneida Nation is the iconic stadium’s Official Gaming Sponsor.

Sitting atop the NFC North, the Packers are once again poised for a deep playoff run. Legal sports betting in Wisconsin will likely be dominated by action on the Pack in the immediate months ahead.

The Oneida Nation is the first to open a sportsbook, but the tribe won’t be the last. Several other federally recognized tribes that have Class III gaming compacts with the state say they too will soon enter the sports betting space.

One of those tribes is the Potawatomi Nation, which owns and operates the largest casino in the state — the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in Milwaukee.

Regulatory Conditions

Wisconsin’s updated gaming compact with the Oneida Nation allows the tribe’s sportsbook to accept bets on professional and collegiate sports. But games involving state schools, such as the Wisconsin Badgers, are prohibited. Mobile betting off the tribe’s sovereign land is additionally banned.

Rather uniquely, the sports betting component of the tribe’s compact allows the Oneida Casino Sportsbook to offer wagering opportunities on nationally-televised live award shows, such as the Oscars and Golden Globes. Such betting has been limited in legal sports betting states, with New Jersey being one of the few exceptions.

Wisconsin requires its larger gaming tribes, such as the Oneida Nation, to share six percent of their casinos’ gross gaming revenue with the state. Those funds are used by the state to cover its regulatory and administrative costs for permitting the tribes to operate Class III gaming.