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Ho-Chunk leader vows to keep Madison poker room open

Published On: May 16 2013 09:38:59 AM CDT
Updated On: May 16 2013 09:39:59 AM CDT

MADISON, Wis. -

The Ho-Chunk Nation leader says he'll fight the state's efforts to close the poker room at the tribe's Madison casino.

The state Justice Department is suing the Black River Falls-based tribe seeking an injunction to shut down the Ho-Chunk's electronic poker games. The state says the Vegas-style games are only allowed at the Ho-Chunk's other casinos, not in Madison which is limited to bingo-style games.

The Journal Sentinel reported the tribe argues the computerized poker games are legal because gamblers play against each other and not against the house, thereby making them Class II games. A Class II casino isn't regulated by the state.

Tribal president Jon Greendeer says he has an opinion from the National Indian Gaming Commission that says the games are legal.

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