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Attorney General Files Suit To Shut Down Wisconsin Poker Room

Madison's Ho-Chunk Gaming Poker Room In Jeopardy

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The Electronic Poker Tables Offered At Ho-Chunk MadisonA suit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court by the Wisconsin state Attorney General’s Office is seeking an injunction to shut down the poker room at the Ho-Chunk Casino in Madison.

The poker room, which has eight electronic poker tables, is open for 18 hours each day and is capable of spreading no-limit, pot-limit and limit variations of hold’em, Omaha and 7-card stud.

According to the complaint, poker, even in its electronic form, “is not explicitly authorized and is explicitly prohibited by the law of the State of Wisconsin.” The Ho-Chunk tribe, however, argues that poker should be allowed because the players compete against each other and not the house.

A state-appointed arbitrator ruled last year that the tribe’s compact restricts poker from being spread at their Madison property. Under the agreement, the tribe can have up to three Las Vegas-style gambling halls, but the other facilities must maintain a class II gaming license, which basically restricts gambling to bingo, slot machines, keno and video poker.

Ho-Chunk gaming spreads table games at their locations in Black River Falls, Wisconsin Dells and Nekoosa, but their properties in Madison and Tomah are restricted by what they can offer.

For more news from Wisconsin, check out its state page.