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Indiana Gov. Holcomb signs the Bill ratifying the Pokagon Class III Gaming Compact

Date posted: April 30, 2021, 11:57 AM

Last Updated: May 1, 2021 12:37 PM

Steve Bittenbender

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed a bill on Thursday that ratifies the Class III gaming agreement between the state and the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians.

Indiana tribal gaming compact
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb speaking on COVID - the 19th vaccination site in Gary in April. On Thursday, he signed a bill that will ratify the Grade III gaming agreement with the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. (Image: Gov. Eric Holcomb / Twitter)

The deal was expected to be signed as the state negotiated an agreement with the Pokagon Band, reaching an agreement in January. Then the General Assembly had to ratify it

Pokagon, which runs the Four Winds casino in South Bend, first asked to negotiate a deal in August 2019.

Kompakt is now headed to Washington, where the US Department of the Interior must approve before Pokagon Band can add new games.

The Four Winds in South Bend currently operates as a Grade II casino. This allows him to offer electronic bingo machines and the only live table games he can provide is poker against other opponents.

Upon approval to offer Class III games, Four Winds will be able to offer table games such as Baccarat, Blackjack, Banking vs. Casino Poker, Craps and Roulette.

Under the agreement, Four Winds South Bend cannot offer more gaming locations than what the largest commercial-licensed casino currently offers, with 3,403 seats.

Although Holcomb has officially signed the law, officials are planning a public signing ceremony in the near future.

Sports betting also approved

Another class III game that Pokagon will be able to offer is sports betting.

Potawatomi has been interested in offering sports betting at its Indiana casino since it was legally legalized by the state in 2019. The tribal nations have asked to start Class III negotiations just weeks before placing the first sports bets in the state.

South Bend is home to Notre Dame Fighting Irish, one of the nation's most popular college football programs. The casino is approximately 15 minutes from the school.

However, unlike Michigan, where Potawatomi may offer state-wide mobile sports betting, the Indiana agreement states that online sports betting is only allowed while the bettor is in the casino at the time the bet is placed.

When the state and Potawatomi reached an agreement in January, the fact sheet stated that it was up to the General Assembly to determine whether the tribe could offer sports betting on their sovereign lands, and this would be separate from the agreement.

Pokagon Band will give Indians 8 percent

As part of the compact, Pokagon Band will receive a 16-poviat "exclusive area", which means you agree not to develop gambling in this territory. The region includes Lake County, which has three casinos, and LaPorte, which has one.

In return for this exclusivity, Pokagon Band will pay you a payment of 8 percent of the net winnings on the Four Winds South Bend. If a state breaches its exclusivity obligation, the tribe will no longer have to make these payments.

Funding from Four Winds will go to education, economic development and workforce, tourism promotion, and public health.

Pokagon Band would be able to deduct $ 1 million from this amount to pay for post-secondary and vocational education for its citizens and the state school, provided that the payments are made on time to the state.

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