Indiana has one active tribal casino. It recently gave a hint that it will launch a hotel on its premises in 2023. The South Bend, Indiana casino is currently constructing the Four Wins hotel. Its officials and the Potawatomi Indians' Pokagon Band predict that the 317-room hotel will be complete after several months.
The Pokagon Band issued a press release in May that offered an update on the Four Winds South Bend casino's expansion. Besides the hotel, the project includes extra gaming seats, a spa, and a conference center.
Frank Freedman, Four Winds Chief Operating Officer, released a statement saying that their team members' efforts have pleased them. They include vendors, job site workers, contractors, and their project manager.
Each of them is working diligently to complete the casino expansion project. Freedman added that the resort will provide a thrilling entertainment experience and amenities that Northwest Indiana and South Bend players cannot access now.
Four Winds South Bend will call its conference center the "Ribbon Town Conference and Event Center." Reports claim that Ribbon town's residents have allowed the Pokagon Band to add its town name in its conference hall as some of the Trible's Northern Indiana territory is in South Bend.
The center will feature a business center, outdoor meeting space, two bars, a 600-seat ballroom, and 16 meeting rooms. Also, the hotel will have 317 rooms, and 83 of them will be suites.
The Coronavirus Pandemic Delayed the Expansion Project
Tribal leaders revealed the casinos' expansion plan in 2019 and forecasted that the project will be complete by 2021. Even so, the pandemic delayed the project. It has created 350 construction vacancies, and the casino gave Native Americans a priority of 35 jobs.
The project will have created 400 jobs at Four Winds South Bend once it ends. Today, the casino has 140,000 square feet of gaming space that has 16 table games and 1,400 slot machines.
It will add an extra 45,000 square feet that will have a high limit zone, 11 extra table games, and 850 slots. The casino will have the highest number of slot machines in Indiana once it opens the hotel.
The Indiana Gaming Commission states that Horseshoe Hammond, which is close to the Indiana-Illinois line, has 1,853 slot machines, while the upgraded Four Winds South Bend casino will have 2,250 slots.
South Bend is on the Indiana-Michigan state line and is among the Pokagon Band's four casinos in the region. Southwestern Michigan hosts its other three casinos.
Class III Gaming Began in August
Four Winds South Bend started operating in January 2018 as a Class II gaming facility. This restricts it to provide non-banked poker and e-bingo games that resemble slots.
The Pokagon Band announced its expansion plans and its interest in forming a Class III casino gaming compact with Indiana's gaming officials.
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb's administration and the tribal leaders formed the compact in January 2021, and the lawmakers approved it in spring. It allows Potawatomi Indians to provide high-quality slot machines and table games like craps, roulette, and blackjack.
The compact allows Pokagon Band to run South Bend casino's sportsbook. Yet, it limits the number of gaming seats that it can provide. Still, the casino launched Class III gaming in August 2021.