Four Winds Casino in South Bend offers 1,800 slot machine-style bingo games. They’ll soon be replaced by traditional slot machines, as well as table games and sports betting once the Tribal Gaming Compact agreed by the state of Indiana and the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi on Thursday is completed.


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SOUTH BEND – The Tribal Casino, operated in South Bend by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, is about to become a full-fledged competitor to the four state-regulated casinos in northwest Indiana.

Eric Holcomb, governor of Indiana, and Matthew Wesaw, chairman of Pokagon, signed a tribal-state gaming compact on Thursday that will enable standard slot machines, table games and sports betting at Four Winds Casino when it comes into effect.

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Currently, gambling at the 175,000-square-foot casino, which opened on January 16, 2018, is limited to bingo, pull tabs, and poker.

While most of Four Winds’s 1,800 slot machines appear to be identical to commercial casino slot machines, the payouts are actually determined by electronic bingo games, which often run invisibly behind slot machine displays.

Under the contract, negotiated by state and tribal officials over the past 18 months, Four Winds was able to offer any game of chance that is permitted in state-regulated casinos.

Mobile sports betting and all other electronic games ultimately allowed in Indiana, however, would be limited to the 166 acres of tribal property in South Bend.

Federal law prohibits the state from taxing the tribal casino much like a commercial casino, which in Indiana can range from 15% to 40% of “profit” or casino revenue after successful bettors are paid.