Urban Studies 600 Capstone


Give-and-Take: The Potawatomi Hotel and Casino’s relationship to the City of Milwaukee


Sam Lopez

Document Type

Capstone Project

Publication Date



This research begins with a central question: What economic development role did the Potawatomi Hotel and Casino play in Milwaukee and what are the social implications of gaming within the Forest County Potawatomi Tribe (FCP) and the City of Milwaukee? The main rationale for this research is to develop a greater understanding of FCP’s relationship with the city of Milwaukee on a greater scale. This research is important because the relationship between the Potawatomi Hotel and Casino is one that is of mutual benefit and this can be seen through the sponsorship of the streetcar. Since the hotel and casino brings in tourists dollars for the city as well as the surrounding businesses and tribes, it’s important to more fully understand their relationships and activities. By examining and contextualizing the history of gaming within the city of Milwaukee and comparatively with other major cities in the U.S. I can better describe how the formation of the casino came into fruition and examine its larger significance for both city and tribe. I will also explore the historical connection between the FCP and gaming and why they decided to build an off-reservation casino in Milwaukee, and the specific rules and regulations that apply to the FCP as opposed to other businesses in the area that aren’t a part of the tribe. The findings from this study will shed light on not only the city’s increasing reliance on FCP to fund economic development projects within the city but also whether this role may prove to be detrimental to FCP in the long run.

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