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Ho-Chunk tribal leader vows to fight efforts to close poker room

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The leader of the Ho-Chunk Indian tribe says he’ll fight the state’s effort to close the poker room at the tribe’s casino in Madison.

The state Justice Department filed suit this week, claiming that the Madison casino cannot offer its electronic poker games at Madison. That’s because the facility’s permit calls for a lower classification of games than other Indian casinos throughout Wisconsin.

Technically, the Madison casino is a bingo hall. It has about 1,100 slot machines, and they’re linked to bingo games.

Ho-Chunk tribal chair Jon Greendeer says the computerized poker is legal at Madison, because the players compete against each other, and not against the house.

Greendeer says he has an opinion from the National Indian Gaming Commission which indicates that the poker games are legal.