NBC 26 — Oneida Casino is set to become the first casino in Wisconsin to offer sports betting, but the start date has been pushed back due to delays with ordering equipment.
While the casino originally hoped to begin sports betting by the start of the NFL season, it now anticipates to start by mid-November.
"As most everybody knows, there's been kind of a global crisis going on with equipment and the chips that you see in computers and Oneida nation is not immune to that," said Chad Fuss, the assistant CFO of gaming operation for the Oneida Nation. "We are experiencing some of that so because of some of the delays with some of the equipment it will most likely be in the middle of November."
Back in July, Governor Tony Evers and the Oneida Nation signed a deal allowing people to bet on sporting events at the tribe's casino and other tribal facilities. The signing authorized betting on sports for the first time in Wisconsin.
The deal has since been approved by the federal government, meaning it will now be fully legal to allow wagering on professional sports league drafts, professional sporting events, including NFL and NBA games, and on nationally televised award shows.
Fuss says the casino has been notified that the computer equipment it needs to begin operating sports betting is currently on back order, but the casino hopes to be able to start in the next couple of months.
"We anticipate having it in hopefully by next month and then we have some set-up time with it," Fuss said. "We're anticipating by the middle of November it will be operational."
The casino says it has been experiencing delays with equipment for some time due to the global computer chip shortage.
“When the partner that we’re working with has told us that it’s on back order, we’ve experienced the same thing at Oneida Casino when we’ve ordered equipment too," Fuss said. "We understand what they’re going through because we’re experiencing the same things.”
But although the start date has been pushed back, preparation for sports betting hasn't stopped. The Oneida Casino will set up a temporary location for sports betting before moving it to the sports bar on the casino's east side.
“We’re going to have the ability to walk up to the cashier to make a bet and walk up to a kiosk and make a bet on a kiosk. That’ll be temporary," Fuss said. "We have a sports bar on the east side of our casino and during that time frame we’ll be doing some renovations in there. Once those renovations are completed, we’ll be moving our sports event wagering into that area.”
Come November, Fuss says the casino will be ready to give customers a new way to play.
“We’ve had customers calling numerous times a day for the last few months," Fuss said. "Our customers are very excited about it and we’re excited to give our customers a new product.”