Sophie Bolich

Potawatomi’s Betting Venue To Replace Northern Lights Theater

Goodbye to big-name entertainers, hello to Las Vegas-style Sportsbook venue.

By - Jan 23rd, 2023 01:05 pm
Sportsbook rendering. Photo courtesy of Potawatomi Hotel & Casino.

Sportsbook rendering. Photo courtesy of Potawatomi Hotel & Casino.

A betting venue commonly found in Las Vegas casinos will soon have a permanent spot at Milwaukee’s Potawatomi Hotel & Casino.

The casino, 1721 W. Canal St., is set to begin construction on its new sportsbook venue, following approval from Gov. Tony Evers in February 2022.

Featuring a full bar, food and broadcast screen, the sportsbook will replace the casino’s Northern Lights Theater, a 600-seat comedy and concert venue that has occupied a space in the northwest corner of the structure for more than two decades. A long list of big-name musicians and comedians performed there during its 22-year history. from James Brown to Willie Nelson, Aretha Franklin to Tony Bennett, George Carlin to Martin Short.

Fire Pit Sports Bar & Grill is also closed.

“This is a transformational time at Potawatomi Casino Hotel,” said Dominic Ortiz, CEO of Potawatomi Casinos and Hotels, in a statement. “For more than three decades, we have served as a leader in Tribal gaming. With the addition of sports betting, we’ll be providing our guests with even more options and welcoming new visitors to the property and the Menomonee Valley.”

Construction is expected to be complete by late 2023. In the meantime, guests will be able to try their luck with 17 sports betting kiosks dispersed over two locations in the hotel, open 24 hours per day.

One of those locations will be near the former Fire Pit Sports Bar & Grill, featuring a full bar, eight, high-definition TVs and one large LED screen. The other is near the second-level skywalk. Both locations will provide odds boards, as well as 20-minute dedicated parking spots in the structure for sports bettors. All bets must be placed on site.

Potawatomi introduced sports betting to its Milwaukee casino in February 2022 via a compact agreement between Forest County Potawatomi Community and the state of Wisconsin.

The new project comes in the midst of the property’s $100 million renovation to its second level, expected to be completed in phases during the summer and fall of 2023. The changes include adding 1,800 more slot machines, a high-limit gambling room, a Starbucks cafe, Rocks & Brews restaurant from KISS band members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons and three new “quick service” food options.

News of the upcoming sports book venue comes on the heels of the hotel and casino’s recent reopening of Dream Dance Steakhouse, a high-end eatery and one of Potawatomi Hotel & Casino’s signature restaurants.

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