Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin
The tribe paid the state an overdue $4.85 million annual payment required by its gaming compact. In return, Gov. Scott McCallum, an avowed opponent of gambling, rescinded the state's notice of non-renewal of the compact March 20 and promised to meet with tribal leaders. McCallum spokeswoman Lisa Hull said the payment cleared away any obstacles preventing the governor from meeting with the Oneidas. In late December, tribal leaders announced they had placed the funds in an escrow account. The leaders said they asked for a meeting with the governor to discuss what they claim is the state's failure to spend gaming revenue-sharing checks according to the compact. In January, former Gov. Tommy Thompson issued a notice that the compact would not be renewed when it expires in May 2003. Tribal leaders said in March that some gamblers were refusing to play at the Oneida Bingo & Casino because it was withholding its payment, but Oneida Chairman Gerald Danforth said that was not the reason for the tribe making its payment March 20. Danforth, who gave the check to the governor, said the tribe was impressed by McCallum's commitment to build up relationships between state government and the tribe.