Expanded Gambling Coming to Four Winds South Bend casino
The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians received some good news on Monday in what will likely lead to a huge revenue boost for the tribe.
After reaching a new gaming compact with Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb in January, lawmakers officially approved a deal to allow for expanded casino gaming options.
Four Winds South Bend casino will now be able to compete with other Indiana casinos in the state after legislators supported the agreement from Holcomb and the tribe. This will not only provide a boost to the Pokagon Band but will also be a big win for casino gamblers in the South Bend area.
This property was initially opened in 2018, but there have been very limited gaming options since that time. Visitors of the casino could play electronic games, but now table games and other traditional casino options will be available.
The Indiana Senate had already approved this new amended gaming compact, and the House gave official approval on Monday. This is a 20-year agreement between the Pokagon Band and the state of Indiana, and these new gaming options can be added immediately.
According to the agreement between the two parties, eight percent of all revenue from slot machines will be paid to the state as a tax. Four Winds already pays the city of South Bend a two-percent share of all revenue, and that provision will continue with this new amended compact.
Indiana continues to look for new sources of revenue, and the Indiana Gaming Commission believes that this will be a nice boost for the state. According to the IGC, there could be around $12 million in new revenue generated from the Four Winds Casino.
This new deal will help make the Pokagon Band Tribe a much bigger player in the Indiana casino industry, similar to what it has in the state of Michigan. This tribe has a gaming compact with that state that allows it to offer casino gaming in the towns of Dowagiac, Hartford, and New Buffalo.
No Competition Clause
Indiana is a state that continues to seek out new casino gaming expansion, but there won’t be much in the South Bend area going forward after this deal was approved. Language in the new compact prohibits the state from authorizing the building of any new casinos within a 50-mile radius of the Four Wind Casino.
South Bend is in the northwest portion of the state, and this is an area that will not be seeing new casinos for at least the next 20 years. Residents of Illinois and Michigan do frequent this area quite a bit, and this will help the Pokagon Band build up a customer base from those states as well.
There are two casinos in Gary that have already been approved to relocate onto land, and this gaming compact will not prevent that from happening. Other properties in either Gary or Michigan City that are looking to move will no longer be eligible to do so.
If lawmakers do decide to approve any new casino projects within this 50-mile radius, it would cancel the revenue sharing portion of the compact.
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