Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, which runs the Four Winds casino in South Bend, has signed a new gambling deal with Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb. The new deal would enable the casino to offer table games, slot games and sports betting.
The State and Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians signs the new Gaming Compact
Four Winds Casino in South Bend, Indiana has been operated by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians for the past three years as a Class II gaming venue. Since the facility opened in January 2018, it has offered poker, pull-tab games and bingo. However, that could change soon, as Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb and Pokagon chairman Matthew Wesaw signed a new Tribal-State gaming contract on Thursday that changed the Place Class to Class III.
The new pact will come into force after approval by the state authorities and the US Secretary of the Interior. When this occurs, as a class III venue, Four Winds Casino will be able to offer slot machines, table games as well as sports betting.
Table games would include blackjack, craps, baccarat and roulette, which are already found at commercial casinos in this state. On the other hand, sports betting would be limited to 166 acres of federally recognized Pokagon Band tribal land in South Bend.
The Gaming Agreement defines the taxation and exclusivity agreement
The new gambling deal took over a year to negotiate between the state and tribal officials. In addition to expanding the gambling business at Four Winds Casino, this deal sets a tax rate of 10% on slot winnings. The State of Indiana would receive the 8% of this tax and the 2% would go to the City of South Bend.
The recent agreement is a state-exclusive agreement not to allow the creation of any other gambling site within 50 miles of Four Winds Casino. It has also been agreed that individuals who are currently participating in in-state gambling exclusion programs should not receive any marketing material from the casino. Moreover, the tribe and state agreed that those who fail to pay their legal maintenance obligations will have their jackpot winnings withheld.
In addition to the gambling expansion, Pokagon Band is currently also expanding its South Bend property. The expansion started in September 2019 and plans to include a 23-story hotel tower with over 300 hotel rooms. In addition, the tribe plans to expand the estate by adding a convention center. Pokagon Band has planned to complete the expansion of the facility and welcome the first guests until September this year.