South Bend casino now offers more slot machines than any other in Indiana

Kilgore News Herald
South Bend casino now offers more slot machines than any other in Indiana

The Indiana gaming facility offering players the greatest number of slot machines isn't the Horseshoe, or the Hard Rock, or either of the horse track casinos near Indianapolis.

Four Winds Casino in South Bend now has more slot machines available to play than any of its Hoosier competitors following a recently completed expansion of its gaming floor to a total of 98,000 square feet.

Altogether, the South Bend casino features 1,900 slot machines on its new gaming floor, compared to 1,704 slots at the Horseshoe, 1,648 at Hard Rock and 1,440 at the nearby Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City.

There are 56 additional video poker games in a dedicated area at Four Winds and a new high-limit area with 46 additional slots offering wagers of up to $100 per spin.

Four Winds also has 27 table games, including blackjack, roulette and house-banked poker variations, that are open from 10 a.m. to 3 a.m., seven days a week.

"We are very excited for guests to experience our new slots and table games, and we look forward to showing more of what Four Winds South Bend has to offer in the coming months," said Frank Freedman, Four Winds Casinos chief operating officer.

The bigger gaming floor is just one part of the ongoing, large-scale expansion at the four-year-old property, including construction of a 23-story hotel tower with 234 rooms and 83 suites, a spa, convention area with a ballroom and meeting space, a cafe, an outdoor swimming pool, and terraces with spectacular views of the nearby woods.

The entire project, which so far has created 350 temporary construction jobs and is expected to generate 350-400 permanent jobs, is scheduled to be completed in early 2023.

"It’s hard to believe we opened our first Four Winds Casino location 15 years ago in New Buffalo, Michigan on August 2, 2007. We couldn’t be more proud of the success of our four casino locations, which is a credit to our hardworking casino operations team and all of our Four Winds team members," said Rebecca Richards, tribal chairwoman of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi.

Four Winds is the only tribal casino in Indiana. It last year switched to true slot machines from bingo-based games, and added table games and sports wagering, after inking a Tribal-State Gaming Compact with Indiana.

Federal law prohibits the state from taxing the tribal casino similar to a commercial casino, which in Indiana can range from 15% to 40% of "win," or casino revenue after paying successful bettors.

However, the tribe agreed in the compact to pay 8% of its slot machine win to Indiana, compared to 6% in Michigan, in exchange for an exclusivity agreement that, in essence, freezes state gaming law within 50 miles of the Four Winds Casino, including in Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties.