Wisconsin Makes History With the Launch of Oneida Casino Sportsbook

  • Oneida Casino Sportsbook launched November 30 with state bingo icons placing the first bets
  • Bettors can now wager on all professional sports and non-Wisconsin college sports
  • IGT’s PlaySports platform is powering the tribe’s online and retail sportsbook
  • Delays in supply chain, hardware, and software delivery put a possible August roll-out on ice
Green Bay Packers fans
After a three-month delay, legal sports betting has finally arrived at Oneida Casino in Green Bay, Wisconsin. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Ribbon cutting ceremony

Wisconsinites are getting their first taste of legal sports betting after a ribbon cutting ceremony at Oneida Casino just outside Green Bay got the ball rolling.

At the historic event on November 30, Wisconsin bingo icons Sandra Brehmer and Alma Webster placed the state’s first ever legal sports wagers.

Oneida Nation took to Twitter Tuesday to announce the launch of the Oneida Casino Sportsbook:

For starters, sports wagering will only roll out at the tribe’s flagship casino and not the other two Onieda-owned retail venues on the Ashwaubenon reservation. Oneida Casino’s chief financial assistant Chad Fuss said that while bettors will be able to wager on events like the Oscars in the future, for now the operation is purely sports betting-focused.

Now visitors to the tribal casino can wager on all professional sports plus college sports, with the exception of games featuring Wisconsin college teams.

Preparing the way

Tuesday’s launch follows a string of partnerships struck between the Oneida Nation and various other third parties. In September, the tribe inked a deal with International Game Technology (IGT) for the global gambling technology company’s PlaySports platform to power Oneida’s online and retail sports betting.

Ahead of Tuesday’s roll out, Fuss spoke of PlaySports software and infrastructure being a “user friendly” fit for Oneida staff taking bets, and for casino patrons who wish to wager via self-service kiosks. The Green Bay Press Gazette quoted Louise Cornelius, gaming GM for Oneida Nation, as saying the tribe was going for a gaming environment that was “up-to-date with the best technology possible.”

Before it struck the technology deal, Oneida nation inked a more emotive agreement in August 2019 between itself and one of the state’s three pro sports teams, the NFL’s Green Bay Packers.

The tribe’s links with the current NFC North leaders go back some time, with Oneida Nation branding a fixture at the Packers’ Lambeau Field since 2002. Aside from the Packers, Wisconsinites have two other major pro sports teams on which to wager, the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks and MLB’s Milwaukee Brewers.

According to the Gazette, Oneida officials say bettors in the state are champing at the legal sports betting bit.

Large customer base awaits

Fuss said the casino was fielding emails and phone calls every day from all over Wisconsin. “We do know that there is a large customer base awaiting the opportunity to make legal bets,” Fuss expanded.

sports wagering is “nothing new here in Wisconsin, but legal betting is”

The legal prefix is key because, as Cornelius put it, sports wagering is “nothing new here in Wisconsin, but legal betting is.”

What no doubt fueled the daily calls to the tribe’s switchboard is that legal sports betting could have rolled out in the state earlier three months earlier.

Delayed but finally live

On August 16, 2021, the US Bureau of Indian Affairs gave its nod to a compact amendment signed in July by Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers and Oneida Nation’s chairman Tehassi Hill.

The federal bureau’s approval of the compact gave the Oneida Indians the right to start sports betting, but as Fuss explained in September, delays in supply chain, hardware, and software delivery put the roll-out on ice. Fuss went on record at the time as saying the casino’s goal was to launch its sportsbook November 1.

Bettors, however, won’t need to agonize anymore, as legal sports betting has finally arrived in Wisconsin.