The casino run by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians that is set to open in 2018 will be the first tribal facility in Indiana.
US.- As the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians revealed that the upcoming Four Winds Casino in South Bend will open its doors in 2018, some people related to the industry believe that the facility could cost the state millions in tax revenue.
The tribal casino, which will become the first one in Indiana, is not required to pay gambling related taxes or follow the same laws imposed to other casinos, as the freedom goes back to the federal protections given by the Congress in the 1990s, Journal Gazette reported. Matt Bell, executive director of the Casino Association of Indiana, said: “They are good operators. They would be a rival with a level playing field, but the field is not level.”
The first phase of the 175,000 square feet casino will employ 1200 people and will become the largest in Indiana with more than 1800 slot machines and 4500 parking spaces. Paige Risser, director of communications for the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, said that they expect to draw from most communities within a two-hour drive, including Fort Wayne and Indianapolis.
Nevertheless, Bell believes that the state could lose US$355 million in revenue due to gaming taxes lost as players move to the Four Winds casino. Sara Gonso Tait, of the Indiana Gaming Commission, added that “the Pokagon Band has not requested compact negotiations with Indiana at this time; it is focusing on Four Winds South Bend and its current offerings,” and that they don’t know the real impacts at this time.