Pokagon Band touts $248M in economic impacts fueled by gaming enterprise

The Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo, Michigan. Photo from Facebook

Gaming has been good for the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and the tribe's surrounding communities in Michigan and Indiana.

Since the flagship Four Winds Casino opened in August 2007, the tribe has shared more than $51 million in gaming revenues with Michigan. But the economic impact goes beyond that -- as of 2015, the tribe has invested another $248 million throughout the region, Chairman James Warren said.

"As the original inhabitants of the Michiana region, we support local communities by making millions of dollars in elective investments every year," Warren said in a press release. "These investments not only support area businesses through vendor payments, but also assist non-profit organizations, local governments, libraries, school districts, colleges, arts organizations, and students through direct donations from the Pokagon Fund and our three local revenue sharing boards.

According to the tribe, the investments in 2015 alone totaled more than $81 million. That figure includes more than $67.1 million spent on vendors in Michigan and Indiana. Last year's charitable donations also included $80,000 to Memorial Children's Hospital and $146,190 in gift cards.

Separately, the tribe shared $5.8 million in gaming revenues with three revenue sharing boards in 2015, according to the press release. That puts the total contributions to the state at $51.3 million. The money comes from the three locations of the Four Winds Casino, including the flagship facility in New Buffalo.

Communities in Indiana also stand to gain from gaming if the tribe wins approval for a new facility in South Bend. The Bureau of Indian Affairs is overseeing the environmental impact statement for the project, which includes a casino and a hotel.

The tribe is based in southwestern Michigan and northeastern Indiana.

Federal Register Notices:
Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians Fee-to-Trust Transfer for Tribal Village and Casino, City of South Bend, St. Joseph County, Indiana (March 12, 2015)
Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Pokagon Band Tribal Village Fee-to-Trust Acquisition and Casino Project in the City of South Bend, St. Joseph County, IN (August 24, 2012)

Join the Conversation

Related Stories
Pokagon Band wins local support for Indiana casino agreement (04/12)
Pokagon Band agrees to share revenues from casino in Indiana (4/11)
Pokagon Band reaches two agreements for casino site in Indiana (03/23)
Pokagon Band sees opposition to work at casino site in Indiana (01/22)
Pokagon Band aims to build police station at Indiana casino site (01/07)
Pokagon Band faces hurdles in plan to develop casino in Indiana (05/27)
Pokagon Band questions legality of new gaming law in Indiana (5/14)
Dennis Whittlesey: Shocking proposals to halt tribal gaming (05/11)
Opinion: Pokagon Band casino shouldn't stir fears in Indiana (05/08)
Lawmaker slammed for comment about Pokagon Band casino bid (05/01)
Gaming bill opposed by Pokagon Band sent to Indiana governor (4/30)
Indiana lawmakers advance bill against Pokagon Band's casino (4/29)
Indiana lawmakers ask Congress to stop Pokagon Band casino (4/28)