Wisconsin at a Glance
Gaming License: Yes
Non-Gaming License: Yes
Vendor License Exemptions Available: Yes
Temporary License: Yes
Ownership Disclosure Threshold: Contact Tribe
Institutional Investor Waiver: Yes
Fees: $500 - $4,000
State Gaming Lab: Private
Term of License: 1-3 Years
Deadline to Reapply: Prior to Expiration
Political Contribution Restrictions: No

Bad River Gaming Commission

Forest County Potawatomi Gaming Commission
(414) 847-7699

Ho-Chunk Nation Gaming Commission

Lac Courte Oreilles Gaming Commission

Lac du Flambeau Tribal Gaming Commission

Menominee Tribal Gaming Commission

Mohican Gaming Commission

Oneida Gaming Commission

Red Cliff Gaming Commission

Sokaogon Gaming Commission

St. Croix Tribal Gaming Commission

Wisconsin Jurisdictional Analysis


The state of Wisconsin currently permits tribal gaming within the state and has 11 tribes that have negotiated gaming compacts for the conduct of Class III gaming. The tribal compacts permit Indian gaming throughout Wisconsin and establish regulations for tribal gaming operations. Under the tribal compacts, each tribe is generally limited to two full-scale casinos, offering electronic games along with blackjack and pull tabs. It is also common that, in many cases, bingo (a Class II game) will also be offered at the casinos. Certain compacts also allow for the operation of traditional casino-style table games, such as roulette, poker, and craps, in addition to blackjack.

Those entities that supply gaming-related equipment must first receive a certification from the state. The state certification process is conducted by the Division of Gaming (“Division”), a section of the Wisconsin Department of Administration. In addition, the Office of Indian Gaming and Regulatory Compliance is within the Division and monitors compliance with the compacts of the various Wisconsin tribes that offer gaming.1

Certain tribes have also established licensing or qualification processes for suppliers of goods or services to tribal gaming facilities in addition to the state certification process.

Please note that the following analysis is based on the Gaming Compact of 1991 (as amended) between the St. Croix Chippewa Indians and the State of Wisconsin (“Compact”). Though each tribe maintains separate compact agreements with the state, each provides for similar licensing and certification requirements. As such, interested parties should first contact the tribe that operates a gaming facility prior to contracting with a tribal gaming property in Wisconsin.

State Gaming Vendor Certification

Those persons or businesses that supply gaming-related goods or services in excess of $50,000 per year to a tribal gaming facility must hold a Three-Year Certificate (“Certificate”) issued by the Division.2 Gaming-related goods or services are defined as “materials, supplies, equipment or services which are unique to the operation of gaming and not common to ordinary Tribal operations [and include] . . . services involving marketing, maintenance, or repair of gaming-related equipment, tickets and other gaming supplies or materials, the receiving or recording of a player’s gaming selections or wagers, and the determination of winners.”3


A Certificate is valid for a period of three years, but the Division may issue a Certificate for a shorter period of time.

Renewal materials must be submitted to the Division prior to the expiration of the current certificate. These materials will be provided by the Division prior to the expiration of the current license.4

An application fee of $4,000 is due at the time the application is submitted. In addition, the applicant is responsible for all investigative costs incurred by the Division related to its review of the application.

Required Documents and Information

The following information must be submitted with the application for a Certificate:

1. Basic identification information;
2. Financial history;
3. Criminal and civil action history;
4. Regulatory and licensing action history; and
5. Background and employment information for certain officers and directors.5

State Temporary Certification

Temporary certificates may be awarded prior to the Division’s completion of its review of the Certificate application materials. In order to qualify for a temporary certificate, an applicant must have submitted a complete Certificate application and fees, have a letter from a Wisconsin tribe indicating that the tribe would like to conduct business with the applicant, be licensed in another gaming jurisdiction with similar licensing requirements, and pass a preliminary background check.6

If eligible, an applicant may receive a temporary certificate within 60 days of submission of the Certificate application materials.7

Tribal Vendor License

In addition to the state certification process, many tribes have established independent vendor licensing structures. These licensing processes will vary between tribes. The information below relates to the St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin vendor licensing process.

Those supplying products or services, including both gaming- and non-gaming-related goods or services, to the tribal gaming facility must first obtain a vendor license. In order to apply, an interested party must complete the Vendor License Application and submit all required fees and attachments.


A Vendor License is issued for a period of one year. Renewal materials must be submitted prior to the expiration of the current license.


There is a $500 fee due at the time of application.8 However, please note that the tribe has the authority to change the amount of the fee without notice.

Required Information and Documents

In order to complete the Vendor License Application, an applicant must submit the following information:

1. Basic identification information;
2. Description of the goods or services provided;
3. Whether the applicant is considered a manufacturer;
4. Whether the applicant is certified as a gaming-related contractor by the state of Wisconsin;
5. The identity of the person handling the account with the tribal gaming facility;
6. Whether the applicant is licensed to sell gaming equipment by any gaming regulatory agency;
7. Business ownership information;
8. A list of the Board of Directors;
9. A list of all persons or entities with an ownership interest in the applicant; and
10. A list of tribal facilities that have contracted or will contract with the applicant.9

Licensing Process and Product Verification

Those parties seeking to contract with a Wisconsin tribe but are unsure as to whether the goods or services provided would constitute “gaming-related” materials may request the Division to make a determination on the issue. To do so, the applicant must provide, in writing, a detailed description of the goods or services to be provided, whether the products are provided to non-gaming entities, how the goods or services will be installed, maintained, or otherwise provided to the tribal gaming location, and certain contract information.10
More information on the gaming-related determination process is available on the Wisconsin Department of Administration’s website.

Those persons or businesses that have been deemed “gaming-related” must complete the appropriate licensing application materials and submit same to the Division.

In addition, it is important to check with the tribe with which the party will conduct business to ensure that it is in compliance with all tribal licensing standards.

Gaming Technology Standards

All electronic games of chance must be approved by a certified testing lab prior to use in a tribal gaming facility.11 Certified testing labs are those that have been approved by an agreement between the tribe and the state of Wisconsin or that are operated under a contract with the states of Minnesota, New Jersey, or South Dakota.12 Each individual compact also provides the required mechanical and operational requirements of electronic games of chance.

In addition, the state has established a model set of minimum internal control standards that may be used by tribes. Though these are not required, they provide an overview of the suggested processes and procedures for casino games and operations. These suggested minimum internal control standards are available on the Division’s website.


Federally- or state-chartered financial institutions are exempt from the state certification process.13 If a party is unsure as to whether an exemption applies, it should contact the Division and request that a gaming-related determination be made by the Division.
1'Indian Gaming,' State of Wisconsin – Department of Administration website, available at
2See Second Amendment to the St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin and the State of Wisconsin Gaming Compact of 1991 (March 12, 2003), Paragraph 6-7.
3St. Croix Chippewa Indians and State of Wisconsin Gaming Compact of 1991 (March 4, 1992), Sec. VII(A).
4'Vendor Certification,' State of Wisconsin – Department of Administration website, available at
5'Detailed Information for: Indian Gaming Contractors Certificate,' License, Permit and Registration Services, State of Wisconsin website, available at
6'Vendor Certification,' State of Wisconsin – Department of Administration website, available at
7'Vendor Certification,' State of Wisconsin – Department of Administration website, available at
8'Vendor License Application,' St. Croix Gaming Commission, p. 1.
9'Vendor License Application,' St. Croix Gaming Commission.
10'Vendor Certification,' State of Wisconsin – Department of Administration website, available at
11See St. Croix Chippewa Indians and State of Wisconsin Gaming Compact of 1991 (March 4, 1992), Sec. XV(B).
12St. Croix Chippewa Indians and State of Wisconsin Gaming Compact of 1991 (March 4, 1992), Sec. XV(B)(1).
13See Wis. Stat. § 569.01(2).

This article is provided by Regulatory Management Counselors, P.C. For information about the services they provide please visit our information on gaming licensing and compliance advisors.