As Indiana Readies for Sports Betting, South Bend Tribal Casino Unable to Take Part

Posted on: August 21, 2019, 11:59h. 

Last updated on: August 22, 2019, 12:11h.

In less than a week, members of the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) are scheduled to meet in Indianapolis and are expected to formally pass the sports betting regulations that will allow licensed casinos, racinos, and off-track betting parlors to start taking wagers next month.

Officials at the Four Winds Casino in South Bend, Ind., told ESPN last week that they’re looking into offering sports betting. However, Indiana gaming officials told that the tribal casino does not have a state compact in place that would allow it. (Image:

As of Wednesday, 14 of the state’s casinos have received temporary certificates of authority from the IGC, the first step in the process of getting the sports betting license. That’s all but one state-licensed casino, and the exception, the Majestic Star in Gary, is in the process of getting the necessary approvals to move inland and become Hard Rock Gary.

There is yet one other casino in the state that has expressed some interest in sports betting, according to ESPN.

“Four Winds Casino is always looking for opportunities to enhance our guests’ experience and will continue to do so with the passing of sports betting in the state of Indiana,” officials with the casino said in a statement to the sports network last week.

However, casino officials have some work ahead of them before they can move forward with a sportsbook. Four Winds is a tribal casino run by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. According to state officials, the Four Winds is authorized to operate class II games.

There is not presently a class III gaming compact between the Pokagon Band and the State of Indiana,” IGC Executive Director Sara Gonso Tate told “Sports wagering meets the definition of Class III gaming.”

A spokeswoman for Four Winds said the tribe has a compact in place with Michigan, where it operates its other three casinos. A request for further comment was not returned.

Hollywood Lawrenceburg Ready

While the IGC has not yet formally approved the sports betting regulations, some Indiana casinos are already announcing when they intend to open.

On Wednesday, Penn National Gaming announced that its Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg will hold grand opening ceremonies on Saturday, Sept. 7. The casino is the closest in Indiana to the Cincinnati metro area, and two local sports legends – Cincinnati Bengals great Anthony Munoz and Cincinnati Reds icon Tony Perez – will be on hand for the ribbon cutting.

Indiana’s state law currently sets Sept. 1 as the official start date, and Penn National officials anticipate open by that date, provided the casino receives the required state approvals.

According to information from the IGC, Hollywood Casino received its temporary certificate on July 12. Penn Sports Interactive, which will operate the sportsbook, received its temporary vendor license on Aug. 5.

Vendor Approvals

PSI is one of six companies to receive their temporary vendor sports betting license from Indiana.

The most recent approval came on Aug. 13 when the state approved William Hill, which is applying for a license to operate a sportsbook at Tropicana Evansville.

FanDuel Sportsbook has received temporary Indiana sports betting licenses for Belterra Casino Resort and Blue Chip Casino, two Boyd Gaming properties in the state.

Elsewhere, Caesars Interactive was similarly approved for the Horseshoe Hammond Casino, and Rush Street Interactive has been given a temporary license for the French Lick Resort in southern Indiana.