Operator Richard Klemm

Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians

58620 Sink Road, Dowagiac, MI, United States, Michigan

Based in Michigan and Indiana, the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians were federally recognized in 1994 and operate the Four Winds Casinos.

History 

The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians trace their ancestors back to the Three Fires Confederacy, which was comprised of the Potawatomi, the Ojibwe and the Odawa tribes.

A small group of Potawatomi Indians were granted the right to remain in their homeland despite the 1833 Treaty of Chicago, which required the tribes to give up 5 million acres of land to the United States government. 

This group was led by Leopold Pokagon, which would give the name to the newly formed Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians.

The tribe would become federally recognized on September 21, 1994, which is now celebrated as Sovereignty Day by the people of the Pokagon Band.

Tribal Government

The Pokagon Band Gaming Commission (PBGC) acts as an independent subdivision of the Pokagon Band Tribal Council. The PBGC oversees gaming operations and establishments, management contractors, licenses, gaming supplies and employee matters.

The PBGC is led by Richard Klemm, Chairman; Cassie Alley, Vice-Chair; and Bruce Molnar, Commissioner. David Vialpando acts as Executive Director, while Katy Morseau is the Executive Assistant. Meredith Hanley leads the Department of Licensing and Investigation, Michael Hammer Jr leads the Department of Compliance and Enforcement and Kevin Menke leads the Department of Internal Audit.

Tribal gaming operations

In 2007, the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians were able to launch its gaming operations through a pact with Michigan. This would expand to become the Four Winds Casino brand.

In 2021, the Michigan Gaming Control Board would grant the Pokagon Band the licensing to offer both online and retail sports betting in its Michigan properties.

Four Winds New Buffalo

Located in New Buffalo Township, Michigan, the Four Winds New Buffalo opened on August 2, 2007. Located in Michigan, it is the flagship casino for the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. 

The original plans for the casino date back to May 1996, following the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. 

The casino was designed by Urban Design Group and includes aspects of Pokagon traditional architecture, such as the rotunda, and cost around $180m.

The casino was expanded a few years after opening, with 250 hotel rooms added on top of the original 165 and a multi-purpose facility added in 2011. 

The casino features over 3,000 slot machines and 60 table games, including blackjack, roulette and poker. The gaming floor also has custom electronic craps table games.

Four Winds Hartford

Located in Hartford, Michigan, the second property opened by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians allowed the public in for the first time on August 30, 2011. 

This property was designed by Hnedak Bobo Group and cost $40m to construct. 

The casino offers 550 slot machines, nine table games, a restaurant and bar.

Four Winds Dowagiac

Opening only a few years after the property in Hartford, Four Winds Dowagiac, located in Michigan, opened its doors on April 30, 2013. 

The casino offers over 400 slot machines and seven table games. 

Four Winds South Bend

The Pokagon Band was limited to three casinos in its 2008 Compact agreement with the state of Michigan.

However, on January 16, 2018, it expanded into South Bend, Indiana. This venue was then expanded in 2022 to hold 1,900 slot machines on the gaming floor. In addition, Four Winds South Bend's hotel opened on March 1, 2023.

Non-gaming operations

The Chi Ishobak organization was created to operate as part of the Tribal Government through its Department of Housing. Chi Ishobak offers tribal citizens both professional and individual financial services.

Mno-Bmadsen is an independently managed investment portfolio company dedicated to diversifying the Pokagon Band’s business interests and revenue streams. 

The Mshkiki Community Clinic is a medical center offering medical assistance for non-emergency conditions and injuries, as well as dental care.

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