Indiana Gov. and Four Winds Casinos sign state's first tribal gaming compact

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ndiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed a gaming compact with the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians on Tuesday.

The first of its kind in Indiana history, the tribal-state compact will enable the casino to offer a better gaming experience through class III staple games like craps, roulette, and blackjack as well as at the Four Winds Casinos in South Bend. The compact will now go to the U.S. Department of the Interior for a 45-day review, reports the WVPE.

The compact was approved by state lawmakers last month.

Tribal Council Chairman Matthew Wesaw said: “To a guy like me who is not a gambler, I don’t see a difference, but to the sophisticated slot player, they can tell. They can tell a difference because class II has, still got a bingo kind of set up where you’re playing against other operations across the country, class III, you’re not doing that”, reports the WNDU.

This history-making compact builds upon the foundation of the strong relationship between the State of Indiana and the Pokagon Band of the Potawatomi and is a win for everyone involved.

— Governor Eric Holcomb (@GovHolcomb) May 4, 2021

Wesaw also added that the compact isn’t just about gaming but that it is an opportunity to build trust and create future partnerships between the state and the tribe.

“Obviously, gaming is the economic engine that allows us to do a lot of our stuff, but the focus really is on, ‘What can we do to improve the quality of life of our citizens?’”, Wesaw

The agreement also includes a $1 million education fund, allowing Pokagon citizens to attend state-funded colleges or vocational schools for free.

The governor said he would continue to work with Wesaw and the rest of the tribal council on issues like education and healthcare access.

“This is our home. Ours. Together. To have that compact in hand just makes it official and now, the sky’s the limit,” Holcomb said.

The compact has an initial term of 20 yearsrenewal options in 10-year increments.