Potawatomi Casino Hotel Upgrades Now Open, Sportsbook Debut Next Year

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Potawatomi Casino Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has unveiled its newly renovated second floor gaming and dining spaces, which are now open to the public.

This is the first step in the Wisconsin brick and mortar casino venue’s ongoing $190 million renovation project. This phase, spanning 114,000 square feet, introduces two new gaming venues, a fresh bar and restaurant, and adds more than 300 new slot machines to the casino’s second level.

“We want to be the premier entertainment destination in the Midwest, and we’re surely on that path today,” said Dominic Ortiz, CEO and general manager of Potawatomi Casino Hotel, as reported by the Milwaukee Business Times.

Rocking Brews and VIP Lounges

The ceremonial ribbon-cutting event for the launch was held at the casino’s new 1833 Club. This VIP gaming lounge boasts a full-exhibition kitchen hosting celebrity chefs, a central bar area, 89 slot machines, and four high-limit blackjack tables.

The new gambling area, known as ElevenHundred, is the casino’s biggest to date, according to the owners. It is equipped with 633 slot machines, 16 gaming tables and a new dual-wheel roulette game, as well as electronic blackjack and craps games.

On top of those gambling and dining options, the Potawatomi’s upgrade includes a street food section, a merch store, and a Cream City Coffee Co. Then there’s also the recently-opened Rock & Brews venue, a branch of the rock music-themed chain owned by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of legendary band KISS.

Street Eatz, the newest bar and restaurant on the second level, offers barbecue, brats, and street tacos from street food truck-inspired vendors, with an accompanying street art and graffiti theme.

Incoming Sportsbook

As well as upgrading the hospitality and the gaming floor, this year the Potawatomi Casino Hotel also launched its own Wisconsin brick and mortar sportsbook. But only as a temporary venue.

This retail sportsbook currently operates on the ground floor. But it plans to launch a permanent location upstairs in 2024. The new sportsbook, planned to have a giant 2,000-foot screen, will replace the Northern Lights Theater, which entertained guests at the Milwaukee casino for more than 20 years.

The sportsbook’s opening will mark the end of the final phase of the expansion project, which started in 2022.

Competing on a Larger Scale

This $190 million investment in facility upgrades, coupled with the introduction of a retail sportsbook, is geared towards keeping up with casinos in neighboring Illinois.

In recent months, multiple operators, like Bally’s in downtown Chicago, have been granted licenses to expand the list of Illinois brick & mortar casinos. The Potawatomi don’t want to be left behind while faced with competition across state lines.

“We see the competition on the borders and, you know, that does hurt, you know, so we had to invest and elevate our game to protect the jobs and the revenues and the city and what we’re doing,” Ortiz said.

He also highlighted that the casino used local Milwaukee contractors in the build, for the most part, and that the project employed 250 people.

“It is our priority to bring our guests the next level of gaming and do so in an inviting and entertaining atmosphere. Milwaukee has been receiving so much exciting attention, and we want to ensure we are viewed as a premier entertainment destination, not just for locals, but for visitors coming to the city for business or leisure,” said Ortiz.

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