According to a report from global independent research agency Spectrum Gaming Group (SGG), the upcoming Four Winds Casino in South Bend Indiana will cause a $350 million hit on Indiana’s tax revenues during its initial five year run. The report was commissioned to estimate the effect of the tribal casino on Indiana’s economy, but also other commercial casinos, by the Casino Association of Indiana (CAI).
The Four Winds South Bend Casino was proposed by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians who own and operate three other Four Winds Casinos in Michigan. Per the official plans, the casino will be built on 166 acres of land and it will feature a 216,000 sq ft gaming space and an 18-storey hotel room, making it the largest Indiana casino thus far. The casino is also projected to generate 2,000 jobs and up to $620 in revenue per year, which according to state law won’t be taxed like in the case of Indiana’s other commercial casinos.
According to the SGG report, the Four Winds South Bend will cost all remaining casinos in Indiana over $800 million in revenue during its first five years by diverting their customers away. This, in turn, will cause a drop in revenue from gambling taxes in the amount of approximately $282 million, as well as $73 million in income taxes, which the report prescribes to the loss of an estimated 1,800 jobs across all casinos that the revenue hit will result in.
According to Matt Bell, the CEO of CAI, Indiana’s commercial casinos have already been struggling in the past decade due to competition from other states and the new casino will make the problems even worse. He states that the legislation bodies need to create a new “vision for the future”, which the report suggests should also involve a reduction of the 35% tax rate the casinos are currently subject to.