Published in Economic Development
Four Winds launches sportsbooks at 3 Southwest Michigan casinos COURTESY PHOTO

Four Winds launches sportsbooks at 3 Southwest Michigan casinos

BY MIBIZ STAFF Monday, July 13, 2020 02:32pm

NEW BUFFALO — Sports betting is now live at the three Four Winds Casinos in Southwest Michigan.

The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi formally launched its new sportsbook today, which will be available at Four Winds locations in New Buffalo, Hartford and Dowagiac.

Four Winds partnered with Kambi Group plc, an independent sportsbook partner with clients around the globe. The company maintains a domestic office in Philadelphia.

Through the partnership, patrons are now able to place bets on a wide range of sports, including baseball, basketball, football, hockey, soccer and more.

Sports betters currently don’t have much to bet on with the COVID-19 pandemic stalling virtually every professional sports season throughout the country, leaving golf and auto racing as some of the only available action as the NBA and MLB prepare to launch their seasons.

The interface allows patrons to scan a QR code with the camera of their smartphone to access the Four Winds betting website. Once they make their bets, they will be provided with an additional QR code to be scanned at the sportsbook or guest services counters of all three locations, where bets will be placed.

The New Buffalo location will feature 18 self-service kiosks and Hartford and Dowagiac will both feature six kiosks each. 

The Four Winds Casino location in South Bend, Ind. does not offer a sportsbook. 

“Following the legalization of sports betting in Michigan, our casino operations team completed an extensive evaluation of potential partners to create the Four Winds Sportsbook,” said Matthew Wesaw, Tribal Council Chairman and CEO of the Pokagon Gaming Authority. “Ultimately, Kambi was recommended and the partnership was approved by the Pokagon Gaming Commission and Pokagon Gaming Authority.

“We are very excited that we now offer sports betting as part of our growing list of amenities at our casino locations in Michigan,” Wesaw stated.

In December 2019, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed into law a bill legalizing sports betting and online gaming in Michigan. Following that, tribes across Michigan have worked to cement deals with partners to operate their sportsbooks and iGaming platforms.

The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians recently linked up with Chicago-based Rush Street Interactive LLC for the venture at its Little River Casino in Manistee, while Bay Mills Indian Community in the eastern Upper Peninsula signed a partnership with Boston-based DraftKings Inc. to operate the tribe’s sportsbook at Bay Mills Resort & Casino in Brimley.

As a provider of sports betting services, Kambi’s clients include both Rush Street Interactive and DraftKings, as well as Detroit-based Greektown Casino operator Penn National Gaming, according to the company.

“We are very proud to be entering this partnership with the Pokagon Band and its Four Winds Casinos,” Kambi CEO Kristian Nylén said in a statement earlier this month. “They are a leading operator in the Midwest and share our commitment to providing customers with consistently engaging experiences.”

Former Chicago Bears defensive tackle, now a football analyst, Steve “Mongo” McMichael was present at the New Buffalo location on Monday to place the ceremonial first bet. 

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