SOUTH BEND — The Four Winds Casino in South Bend has announced it will open to the public at 4 p.m. on Jan. 16 on 166 acres of tribal trust land at 3300 Prairie Road.
The casino is the first one in the state of Indiana owned and operated by a Native American tribe. It will join other Four Winds casino locations in New Buffalo, Hartford and Dowagiac.
Four Winds South Bend will have 175,000 square feet and include 1,800 games, four restaurants, a players lounge, a coffee shop, three bars, a retail outlet and approximately 4,500 parking spaces including an enclosed parking structure. The casino expects to employ approximately 1,200 people.
“When we broke ground in December 2016, we did so knowing we’ll have a significant economic impact on the region,” said John P. Warren, Chairman of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, in a news release. “Once operating, it will generate revenue to fund services and programs that will create additional economic opportunities for Pokagon Citizens, the city of South Bend, and also fund community projects, local organizations and schools."
The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians’ sovereignty was reaffirmed under legislation signed into law by President Clinton in September of 1994.
The Pokagon Band’s ten-county service area includes four counties in Southwestern Michigan and six in Northern Indiana. Its main administrative offices are located in Dowagiac, with a satellite office in South Bend.
In 2007, it opened Four Winds Casino Resort in New Buffalo, followed by Four Winds Hartford in 2011 and Four Winds Dowagiac in 2013.
In November, the Pokagon Band of the Potawatomi Indians opened a new tribal police substation to serve its sovereign land. Eight police officers, two sergeants, a detective and a lieutenant will aim to ensure the tribal land and area surrounding it have a strong law enforcement presence.
The tribal police group also entered into a 10-year agreement with the St. Joseph County Police Department that calls for housing people arrested on the tribal land -- including non-tribal and tribal members -- in the county jail.