Native American tribes are well-known for their long practice in the tribal casino operation, which demands constant branching out and exploring new markets and attracting new customers. This month is expected to see the official launch of the first tribal casino location in the state of Indiana, transforming the City of South Bend into the hottest spot for gambling in the region. As the date of the official opening approaches, more details regarding the operation of the venue surfaced and experts in the field are concerned about the impact this new facility is going to have on the rest of the industry in the area.
As it could be recalled, the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians has been working on the project of the new gambling location for quite some time now and in the first days of 2018, the community announced an official date which will welcome the new location in the gambling industry. The expected opening date has been scheduled and it is going to be on the 16th January at 4 p.m. Even though this will be the fourth gambling location managed by the Native American tribe, the Four Winds casino will be the first tribal venue in the state, and this has raised some concerns among other gambling entities in the field.
Since the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians is a sovereign tribe, the new location will not be subjected to Indiana wagering taxes or state corporate income taxes. This means that while the rest of the casino venues must pay taxes amounting to between 15 and 40 percent of their annual revenues to the Indiana Gaming Commission, the Four Winds South Bend will be obliged to pay only 2 percent to the city of South Bend. This is expected to have its impact on the operation and make for an unfair competition, as the tribal casino would amass larger annual profit.
In addition to the 2-percent taxes it has to pay, the band also committed to paying $5 million over three years to community programs. There is also the Pokagon Fund which helps support various initiatives and has invested $22 million in scholarships, education grants, programs battling poverty, and community improvements in the area. Other casino venues, among which Blue Chip Casino claimed that the competition is not something they could not handle.
Important Details around the New Venue
There will be, however, some specifics in the new location. Being a Class II facility, the Four Winds South Bend will feature bingo, but no table games or traditional slot machines. Even though the devices might resemble slot machines, the players will play against another person, like in real-life bingo. In the meantime, the management of the new casino location expressed their vision for the future operation.
Since Four Winds casino will be only a gambling venue with no hotel attached to it, Chief Operating Officer Frank Freedman stated that it will target players that stop in for several hours of play. The location which can provide them with premium accommodation and a wide variety of table games is Four Winds New Buffalo.