Pokagon Band Adds Evolv Weapon Screening Systems at Four Winds Casinos

Posted on: July 3, 2021, 11:51h. 

Last updated on: July 4, 2021, 11:49h.

In an effort to add another layer of security at its casinos, the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians has announced it is installing touchless weapons detection systems from Evolv Technology at all four of its Four Winds Casinos.

Four Winds touches screening
The Four Winds Casino in South Bend, Ind. recently installed Evolv Technology weapons detection systems at its entrances. The Pokagon band of Potawatomi Indians announced they would also install the touchless technology at its three Four Winds casinos in Michigan. (Image: WNDU-TV)

The system is already in place at the Four Winds Casino South Bend. Evolv Express systems are located at each of the northern Indiana casino’s entrances. The equipment allows for patrons to be scanned without having to stop and empty pockets or have bags checked, except when requested by a security guard. Guards may also ask to see identification to verify age.

The sovereign nation’s other casinos are located in southwestern Michigan.

Weapons have always been prohibited at Four Winds casinos, the Pokagon Band said in a release. Partnering with the Massachusetts-based security technology company, the Pokagon Band said, will help ensure none make it in with a system that uses artificial intelligence to screen up to 3,600 people an hour.

The health and safety of our guests and team members has always been our top priority, and this proven technology from Evolv will allow us to provide a higher level of screening and security, without impacting the experience of our guests,” Four Winds COO Frank Freedman said in the release.

Evolv’s systems are used across the country, including MLB and NFL stadiums, Six Flags theme parks, and other high-traffic buildings and venues. The company said its technology has been used to screen more than 50 million people in America, a figure topped by only the Transportation Security Administration.

Gaming Industry Key Market for Evolv

On a call with investors and analysts last month to discuss first quarter highlights, Evolv CEO Peter George said the gaming industry has been a focus for the company, along with expansion in stadiums, theaters, amusement parks, and office complexes.

In February, Evolv landed another casino contract for the Potawatomi Hotel and Casino in Milwaukee. The venue is owned and operated by the Forest County Potawatomi Community, which, like the Pokagon Band, is a separate federally recognized tribe.

According to a release at that time, the Wisconsin casino was the first in the country to use touchless screening to check for weapons. The Potawatomi Casino also used the Evolv system to conduct thermal imaging checks of guests and staff to help screen against COVID-19.

A month later, the Saracen Casino Resort in Pine Bluff, Ark., installed Evolv equipment after a shooting there left a security officer wounded.

Combating Violence In and Near Casinos

Security has been a key issue for US casinos, especially since reopening last year after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Las Vegas Strip has been the scene of numerous violent incidents over the past year. That includes an incident last October where a shot was fired onto the gaming floor at the MGM Grand. Just two days later, security personnel at the South Point Hotel Casino, located south of the Strip, shot and killed an armed man outside the casino after he had entered and left the casino.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has upped its presence on the Strip this holiday weekend as upwards of 300,000 people are expected to descend upon the area.

In early May, the Oneida Nation in Wisconsin temporarily closed its casinos after a gunman killed two people and wounded another at a restaurant adjacent to the casino. Green Bay police officers responding to the incident then shot and killed the shooter in a casino parking garage.