“The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi have been a generous partner in our community, and we are grateful for their contributions to improve our city’s parks, open spaces, and neighborhoods,” said Mayor James Mueller. “We look forward to continuing this great partnership into the future.” The arrangement is unique in that revenue sharing typically occurs within the context of Class III gaming, such as slot machines and card games. Four Winds, on the other hand, only offers Class II gaming, a category that includes bingo and electronic forms of bingo. But the tribe readily negotiated government-to-government agreements with the city in order to contribute to the community. Buttigieg, who served as mayor between January 2012 and 2020, signed the agreements and supported the tribe's historic land-into-trust application in South Bend. He was a frequent presence at events with the tribe, including the contribution of more than $2.7 million after Four Winds had been in operation for its first year.
Thanks to the @pokegnek and @fourwindscasino for their generous contribution to the City of South Bend and many local organizations. These funds will help lift up our community’s children and families across all neighborhoods. pic.twitter.com/gvfw7lw6J2— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) January 17, 2019
Buttigieg "worked directly with one of our fellow Anishnaabe Tribes – the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians – to build a positive government-to-government relationship in his own community in South Bend," Bryan Newland, the president of the Bay Mills Indian Community, wrote in an endorsement published on Indianz.Com. The tribe has since entered into negotiations for a Class III gaming compact with the state of Indiana. Up until last year, state politicians -- primarily Republicans in areas were non-Indian commercial facilities have made inroads -- were reluctant to even come to the table.
Pokagon Band in early stages of Class III gaming compact talks in Indiana (September 9, 2019)
Pokagon Band shares $1.56 million with hosts of casino in Indiana (January 17, 2019)
Pokagon Band shares $1.2 million from gaming facility in Indiana (October 1, 2018)
Pokagon Band announces poker room after favorable opinion from federal regulators (July 10, 2018)
Pokagon Band makes history with opening of first tribal casino in Indiana (January 17, 2018)
Pokagon Band announces January 16 debut of first tribal casino in Indiana (January 9, 2018)
Pokagon Band debuts police station to service site of new casino in Indiana (November 21, 2017)
Pokagon Band not in a rush to negotiate Class III gaming compact for new facility (August 29, 2017)
Pokagon Band on track to open first gaming facility in Indiana in January 2018 (August 22, 2017)
Pokagon Band on hiring spree as first tribal casino in Indiana takes shape (July 24, 2017)
Pokagon Band expects to open gaming facility in Indiana in early 2018 (July 13, 2017)
Pokagon Band secures approval for alcohol ordinance in Indiana (November 29, 2016)
Pokagon Band secures historic approval to restore homeland in Indiana (November 23, 2016)