The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians that operates the Four Winds Casino in South Bend inked a new gambling compact with Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb. The new compact would allow the casino to offer table games, slot games and sports betting.
State and Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians Sign New Gaming Compact
The Four Winds Casino in South Bend, Indiana has been operated by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians for the last three years as a Class II gaming venue. Since the venue opened its doors in January 2018, it has offered poker, pull-tab games, and bingo. However, this may soon change as on Thursday, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb and Pokagon Chairman Matthew Wesaw inked a new Tribal-State gaming compact, which would re-class the venue to a Class III.
The new compact will take effect once it receives the approval of the state’s legislature and the U.S. Secretary of the Interior. Once this is done, as a Class III venue, Four Winds Casino would be able to offer slot machines, table games, as well as sports betting.
Table games would include blackjack, craps, baccarat, and roulette, which can already be found in commercial casinos in the state. On the other hand, sports betting would be limited to the 166 acres of federally recognized Tribal land of the Pokagon Band in South Bend.
The Gaming Compact Sets Taxation and Exclusivity Agreement
The new gambling compact has taken more than a year of negotiation between the state and tribal officials. Besides the expansion of gambling operations for the Four Winds Casino, the compact sets a tax rate of 10% on slot machine winnings. The State of Indiana would be receiving 8% of that tax, while 2% would go to the City of South Bend.
The recent compact sets an exclusive agreement for the state not to allow the establishment of another gambling venue within 50 miles of the Four Winds Casino. It was also agreed that individuals who are currently participating in gambling exclusion programs in the state are not to receive any marketing materials from the casino. Furthermore, the tribe and the state agreed that individuals who have failed to pay their legal child support obligation would have their jackpot winnings withheld.
Besides the gambling expansion, the Pokagon Band is also currently expanding its South Bend property. The expansion started back in September 2019 and it plans to include a 23-story hotel tower featuring more than 300 hotel rooms. Furthermore, the tribe plans to expand the property by adding a convention center. The Pokagon Band has set a plan to complete the venue expansion and welcome its first visitors by September this year.