The Pokagon Band Of Potawatomi Indians has launched Class III gaming – including slot and table games – at its Four Winds South Bend Casino in Indiana.
The Indiana Gaming Commission revealed in September 2019 that the Pokagon Band had opened negotiations on a Class III compact the previous month. This compact was then signed and approved in April of this year, allowing the tribe to offer casino-style games like slots and table gaming.
Under the new compact, the casino now offers 16 table games, including blackjack, roulette, craps and baccarat.
The casino currently offers slot-like electronic bingo games, and operates 1,400 of these machines. It will now upgrade these to full slot machines in a process that it says will “take months to complete”.
The new games were unveiled in a launch event on August 5, attended by Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb; Indiana Gaming Commission executive director Sara Gonso Tait and National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) chair Ernie L. Stevens, among others.
Matthew Wesaw, Tribal Council Chairman of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and chief executive of the Pokagon Gaming Authority, said the expansion would help create new jobs in the city of South Bend.
“Not only is Class III gaming in Indiana a historic and important milestone for the Pokagon Band and our Four Winds Casinos, but the expansion of Four Winds South Bend will create numerous additional economic benefits with the state of Indiana and the city of South Bend,” he said.
“We’ve also created hundreds of temporary construction jobs, approximately 100 permanent new jobs to support our ongoing operations and an education program for our Pokagon Citizens to attend state funded institutions of higher education, including 2 and 4 year colleges, plus trade/vocational schools with all expenses covered.
“It’s a great day to be Pokagon and we are very excited for what the future holds.”
The Pokagon Band is already permitted to offer Class III gaming at its casinos in Michigan.
“Four Winds Casinos have consistently been ranked among the best gaming destinations in the country and we believe the addition of table games and popular Class III slot titles, combined with our 23-story hotel tower and several other amenities currently under construction, will bring the guest experience at Four Winds South Bend to another level and deliver on the premium resort-style feel and amenities you’ll find at other top resorts including Four Winds New Buffalo,” Frank Freedman, chief operating officer of Four Winds Casinos, said
“We are very excited for this next phase of development and appreciate all of the hard work and dedication of all Four Winds employees to help us reach this important milestone. We are excited and can’t wait to show everyone the finished product once construction is complete.”