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January 24, 2023 Sports Betting, Casino, Tribal, Land Based

The Potawatomi Casino to transform storied theater into new sportsbook

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The temporary sportsbook will include a 120-foot video screen and a full-service bar.

The Potawatomi Casino in Milwaukee has closed its Northern Lights Theater, to transform it into a sportsbook venue. The concert and comedy venue was 22 years old and has now shut down, following a final performance from Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone.

In its place, Potawatomi will offer a temporary sportsbook, following approval from Governor Tony Evers last February. The permanent sportsbook is scheduled to open by December this year or the first quarter of 2024.

In a city with no shortage of music venues, Northern Lights was the only theater of its kind, seating only 600 guests. Northern Lights managed to book legends and veteran performers in the entertainment industry, who typically would only play far larger venues otherwise.

Among these performers were Wayne Newton, Etta James, Willie Nelson and Ringo Starr.

Potawatomi Casino CEO Dominic Ortiz commented: “It is going to exceed what you experience at a normal sportsbook. We can provide that next-level experience. It is going to exceed what you experience at a normal sportsbook, we are able to provide that next-level experience."

Ortiz has yet to discuss the price tag for construction, but has said the conversion will make it “the premiere regional sportsbook experience."

He also disclosed that the sportsbook will include a 120-foot video screen that can broadcast multiple games at once – or occasionally one high-interest game. It will also offer patrons food and a full-service bar.

The Fire Pit Sports Bar and Grill near the theater has also closed. Ultimately, it will be converted into a new poker room that will open in the same time frame as the sportsbook. Combined, the theater and sports bar employed 58 people, who will be re-assigned to different roles at Potawatomi Casino.

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