The group behind the Four Winds casinos across Southwest Michigan have set their sights on a possible casino inside South Bend's city limits. The Pokagon Band of the Potawatomi Indians started the process to build a casino complex on South Bend's far south side, by filing a Notice of Intent (click on that document above) with the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs on Friday.
The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians owns about 164 acres southwest of the U.S. 31 and U.S. 20 interchange, and bounded by State Road 23 and Locust Road south of town.
They have begun the legal proceedings necessary to win approval to be recognized through a "trust" status with the federal government that would grant the tribe more authority over the land.
According to the notice with the U.S. Department of Interior, the tribe wants to develop the land for housing, tribal government facility, and a casino with a hotel, restaurants and a parking garage.
The Pokagons will soon run three casinos in southwest Michigan, Four Winds New Buffalo, Hartford and Dowagiac. None of the casinos in Indiana are operated by a Native American tribe.
Our reporting partners at The Elkhart Truth spoke with both Chairman of the Pokagon Band of the Potawatomi Indians Matt Wesaw and a spokesman with the City of South Bend. Both sides confirmed plans of a possible South Bend casino.
This story is only in the beginning stages, and we’ll be following the details all night. We have a crew gathering more information and we'll have much more on NewsCenter 16 at Six and here on wndu.com.