On January 18, 2020, ANR Foundation held a Smokefree Casino partner meeting in Madison, Wisconsin. Attendees included representatives from Navajo Nation, Oglala Sioux Tribe, Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison, BCSlots.com, Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council,Inc, Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

We met on the eve of several important anniversaries for Wisconsin this year: 10 years of a statewide smokefree air law, 15 years for the smokefree air ordinance in the City of Madison, and 5 years for Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison’s (HCGM) smokefree Tribal casino. HCGM remains the only Tribally-owned and operated casino in the Midwest that is 100% smokefree and vapefree.

At the meeting, we discussed the importance of these anniversaries and the leaders who helped enact HCGM and Wisconsin smokefree air policies reflected on the process. Daniel Brown, Executive Director of HCGM, shared that he administered patron surveys and evaluated many customer comment cards going back months, before discussing going smokefree with Tribal leaders.

The process of passing a statewide smokefree policy is far different than it is for Tribes enacting policies. Maureen Busalacchi played a vital role in helping enact the smokefree air law for Wisconsin. Maureen discussed the importance of collaboration and the strategic relationship Wisconsin tobacco control groups developed with the Wisconsin Tavern League. She congratulated ANRF for their long-term relationship with Wisconsin before and after the smokefree air law. Maureen said, “It was great to connect with Tribal partners across the country and understand that there are struggles everywhere to ensure smokefree air for all workers. I congratulate ANRF for having the insight to see the potential and willingness to share knowledge with others.”

VIEW: Honoring our Traditions and our Health, and Ho-Chunk Gaming’s Story

And the  HCGM story: