Four Winds Casinos in Michigan and Indiana to reopen Monday
The Pokagon Gaming Authority has approved Four Winds Casinos’ reopening plans, clearing way for the gambling and entertainment properties to resume operations as soon as early next week.
Four Winds owns and operates four gambling properties in the region, including the Winds Casino Resort in New Buffalo, Michigan. The other three casinos are located in Hartford, Dowagiac of Michigan and South Bend of Indiana. All of these four properties are now expected to resume operations at noon on coming Monday, June 15th.
All the aforementioned casinos have been closed since 17th of March due to the corona virus pandemic, which has left millions of people sick and thousands dead across the nation. These tribal casinos closed a day after Michigan and Indiana governors issued ordered for their state-licensed casinos to suspend operations to help curb the spread of the deadly virus.
It is worth-mentioning here that Four Winds Casinos are owned and operated by the Pokagon band of Potawatomi Indians Tribe on their sovereign territory. Because of their special sovereign status, Indian tribes are not bound to abide to state’s orders. Nevertheless, they decided to close their entertainment properties to help prevent further transmissions of the viral calamity.
The Pokagon band of Potawatomi Indians Tribe furloughed most of its workforce a month later, in April.
Matthew Wesaw, council chairman of the Pokagon Gaming Authority, said the reopening of the four tribal casinos would help bring employees back to work and provide them with much-needed economic relief.
Speaking on the topic, Wesaw added, “Unlike state and local governments which predominately use tax dollars to operate, the Pokagon Band is a Sovereign Native American Government which relies on revenue from its business ventures to fund critical services and programs for our citizens including healthcare…”
While the reopening plan approved by the Pokagon Gaming Authority doesn’t specify a certain capacity limit for the casinos, the Four Winds Casinos will take a number of precautionary measures to help protect public health against corona pandemic. For example, the number of slot machines will be decreased, some chairs and games will be removed from the floor, plexiglasses will be installed to separate patrons, each team members and guest will have to wear a face mask and undergo temperature screening. Dining options will be limited as buffets will remain closed. In addition valet and shuttle services will not be made available for the time being.
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