The Ho-Chunk Nation has moved a tentative step further to realising its ambitions to create a $405m casino and leisure development in the city of Beloit, Wisconsin, following the news this week that  the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has published a Notice of Availability of a draft environmental impact statement for project.

In a press statement, the nation commented: “For many years, the city of Beloit, Rock County, community members and the Ho-Chunk Nation have been extremely supportive of the project.”

Nation president Wilfrid Cleveland welcomed the notice, saying: “We feel energized as this is the farthest this project has ever been. We look forward to working with our local partners through this approval process that creates thousands of construction jobs and 1,500 full-time jobs for Wisconsin.”

The next phase in the ongoing project will be a public hearing in the city of Beloit. The location and date of the meeting have yet to be confirmed.

The Ho-Chunk Nation is seeking to establish the casino under the two-part determination provisions of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. According to the law, it will require approval from both the state governor as well as the BIA.