Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians Launches iGaming in Michigan
The online gambling market in Michigan continues to grow. The industry just launched a few weeks ago, and operators continue to launch services in the state. The latest to do so is the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. The tribe has rolled out its online gaming platform and is licensed to offer both online casino games and sports betting.
The tribe operates three casinos in the state, known as the Four Winds. The venues are located in the lower peninsula in the southwestern portion of the state. To provide online services, the tribe is working with Pala Interactive LLC.
Four Winds Casino COO Frank Freedman commented on the new services by stating that providing online access from a mobile phone, computer or tablet adds a new dimension to the sports betting and gaming experience. Operations by the tribe will be compatible with all devices.
By earning approval by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, the Pokagon tribe is now the 11th license holder to be approved for sports betting and casino games. Revenues generated from the operations will go towards economic development, education and needs of the tribe.
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The tribe has reportedly been interested and preparing for online gambling for quite some time. With the COVID-19 pandemic becoming an issue last year, it accelerated interest in the offering as it would provide convenience to customers.
With its new license, the tribe can offer iGaming services to players 21 years of age or older in the state.
Pokagon Compact Approved by Indiana Senate
As the tribe starts to offer online gambling, they are also one step closer to increasing their land-based options. The tribe is working on approval for Class III gaming options at its physical locations. Just last week, the Senate voted in approval for SB 365, with a vote of 36 to 11. The bill codifies the compact the tribe negotiated with state officials last month.
The measure has now moved on to the House for consideration. The tribe currently offers Class II gaming at the Four Winds Casino in South Bend. With the new compact, the casino would be allowed to offer banked table games. This would include roulette and blackjack options.
With an expansion of table games options, the casino could bring in more traffic which would of course mean more revenues. The difference between Class II and III gaming can mean millions of dollars in earnings.
The new compact also provides a way for the casino to offer players sports betting services. The tribe has been trying to offer sports betting since the state legalized the option back in late 2019.
While the bill provides many changes to the tribe’s compact, it does not allow the casino to provide mobile sports betting. Players can only wager online if they are located at the Four Winds Casino when placing the bet.
We will watch closely as the legislation is considered and report if it continues to move forward or losing momentum in the House. It is expected that lawmakers will continue to approve the measure.