SOUTH BEND — The tribal casino operated in South Bend by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi is on the verge of becoming a full-fledged competitor to the four state-regulated casinos in Northwest Indiana.
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and Pokagon Chairman Matthew Wesaw on Thursday signed a Tribal-State Gaming Compact that, once it takes effect, will allow standard slot machines, table games, and sports wagering at the Four Winds Casino.
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Currently, gambling games at the 175,000-square-foot casino that opened Jan. 16, 2018, are limited to bingo, pull-tabs and poker.
While most of Four Winds’ 1,800 gaming machines appear identical to commercial casino slot machines, the payouts actually are determined by electronic bingo games running, often unseen, behind displays featuring slot-style reels.
Under the compact, negotiated by state and tribal officials over the past 18 months, Four Winds could offer any gambling game permitted at state-regulated casinos.
Though mobile sports wagering, and any other electronic gaming eventually permitted in Indiana, would be limited to the 166 acres of tribal property in South Bend.
Federal law prohibits the state from taxing the tribal casino similar to a commercial casino, which in Indiana can range from 15 to 40% of “win,” or casino revenue after paying successful bettors.