Dec 7, 2016., Associated Press SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — An Indian tribe that runs three casinos in southwestern Michigan announced Wednesday it will open another in South Bend that is expected to draw business from Indiana’s existing casinos that already are seeing business shrink because of competition from surrounding states.
The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians said Four Winds Casino South Bend is expected to open in early 2018. Tribal Chairman John Warren said ground was broken this past weekend. Warren said the casino should help the tribe’s 5,200 members as well as the South Bend community.
“Our citizens live here in South Bend in this area. We have a chance to better the community and their lives become better, and then everyone else benefits from that,” Warren said.
Ed Feigenbaum, editor of the Indiana Gaming Insight newsletter, said that even though the casino won’t be as big as the tribe indicated in documents to the Bureau of Indian Affairs it will still have a significant impact.
“It’s a big game-changer regardless,” he said.
Those documents indicated the tribe would build a casino with 216,000 square feet of gaming floor space, which would have made it larger than any of the 13 casinos licensed by the state of Indiana, which includes two racinos. The tribe announced the casino would initially open with 55,000 square feet of gaming space and 1,800 gambling devices, saying this was the first phase.
The square footage would make it the sixth largest casi