Pokagon Band contributes $35 millionPublished 5:08pm Wednesday, January 30, 2013
The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians is pleased to announce it made nearly $35 million in additional contributions to the economy in 2012, which does not include annual payments made directly to the State of Michigan as mandated by the band’s compact, job creation and other ancillary benefits resulting from its Four Winds Casinos and other ventures.
“We felt it was important to make additional investments in the communities of southwest Michigan and northern Indiana through our Pokagon Fund and other direct donations to various charitable causes and events,” Matt Wesaw, chairman, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, said Monday. “The Pokagon Band also makes it a priority to support local vendors and hire locally for our gaming operations and other ventures. Throughout
the year, we have also worked to improve the environment through initiatives including our water quality program and our wetlands reserve program.”
In 2012, $25 million was spent by the Pokagon Band with 3,132 vendors nationwide, of which $15 million was spent with 1,332 vendors in Michigan and $1.5 million was spent with 372 vendors in Indiana.
Additionally, The Pokagon Fund, which is supported by electronic gaming revenue from the Pokagon Band’s Four Winds New Buffalo, provided $2.6 million in grants to various projects in the New Buffalo region.
Through its casino locations, the Pokagon Band also made contributions of $5.6 million to the New Buffalo Local Revenue Sharing Board and $1 million to the Hartford Local Revenue Sharing Board in 2012.
The local revenue sharing boards receive revenue from electronic gaming at each casino location. They were set up in the Pokagon Band’s compact with the State of Michigan to provide funding to local municipalities in lieu of taxes.
The Pokagon Band and its casinos also made more than $365,000 in in-kind donations in 2012, including more than $70,000 in Four Winds Casino gift card donations to various charitable causes and events.
The Pokagon Band also made donations to the Community Foundation of Elkhart County, the Chambers of Commerce in Elkhart and St. Joseph counties and Potawatomi Zoo. Additionally, the Pokagon Band sponsored the inaugural Four Winds Invitational in 2012, which not only brought a professional golf tournament to South Bend that brought thousands of ancillary dollars to the area, but also brought donations of $53,000 to Memorial Children’s Hospital and $10,000 to its Ronald McDonald Family Room.
About The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians
The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians’ tribal recognition was restored and signed into law by President Clinton in September of 1994.
The tribe’s 10-county service area includes four counties in southwestern
Michigan and six in northern Indiana.
The Dowagiac-based Pokagon Band provides services including housing, education,
family services, medical care and cultural preservation to approximately 4,500 citizens of the tribe.
In 2007, it opened Four Winds Casino Resort in New Buffalo. It also opened Four Winds Hartford in 2011 and plans on opening Four Winds Dowagiac in 2013.
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