Indiana's First Tribal Casino to Open in October

Indiana First Tribal Casino to Open in October Indiana currently has ten riverboat casinos, all spread out across Lake Michigan and the Ohio River, but in the next few months the state will boast its very first land-based counterpart following the passing of a 2015 bill allowing for land-based gaming in Indiana.
According to some reports, the Four Winds in South Bend could open for business as early as October, with the $50 million casino marking a major transition for the operation which for the past two decades has been a riverboat business. Commenting on the development, Tropicana Evansville General Manager John Chaszar, stated:
“It’s appropriate, us being the first casino in the state of Indiana and it’s appropriate for us to be the first ones to take advantage of the new land-based legislation. When (the casino) first came to Evansville, it was a new milestone for the city of Evansville and we’re really looking forward to this next era of entertainment.”
While gamblers will be looking forward to an exciting new era in the state’s casino industry, the same cannot be said for some of Indiana’s other gambling establishments, as the Potawatomi owned tribal venue will be gambling-tax exempt. Summing up some of the concerns of the casino’s competitors, Casino Association of Indiana (CAI) executive director, Matt Bell, explains:
“They would be a rival with a level playing field, but the field is not level. They can pump a lot of that money into marketing through promotional free play. It allows them to market far more aggressively than Indiana casinos can today.”
Highlighting the challenges ahead, a Spectrum Gaming Group report has estimated that the state’s existing casino operators could experience a huge $800 million contraction in their profits over a five-year period, ultimately resulting in $350 million fewer funds for state coffers. Furthermore, the Four Winds casino is likely to inspire more tribal casinos to open in Indiana, resulting in an ever-increasing level of competition for the state’s commercial operations.

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