Why no table games at new South Bend casino?

Posted by freemexy on July 14th, 2019

Why no table games at new South Bend casino?

For those who head to opening night at Four Winds on Tuesday, a question may arise.Why doesn’t Four Winds South Bend have table games?Within the tribal casino industry, specific federal regulations impact the types of games that can be played at a given casino.The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, passed in 1988, established three classes for tribal casinos and the games that are permitted in each.new casinos

Four Winds South Bend is a Class II facility, permitting the playing of bingo, and subject to regulation by tribal government and the National Indian Gaming Commission. Class II facilities are not permitted to offer table games or traditional slot machines.

But a player who sits down at one of the machines at Four Winds South Bend will see a version of bingo that seems very similar to typical slot machines.

“In truth, they’re not slot machines. They’re not the same thing,” said Travis Waldo, director of technology at the National Indian Gaming Commission. “The primary difference is with a class II machine, you’re playing essentially electronic bingo. That means that you’re playing against another person, bingo takes two people to play.”

Advancements in electronic bingo technology have meant that, for a gambler, the difference between a Class II machine and a traditional slot machine are minor. But at the root of the machines, there is a significant difference.

According to Waldo, Class II machines have a few primary requirements. They have to be constantly connected to a house server, players must have other players to play against and the machine must display a bingo card.

“Game determination is based on a winning bingo pattern derived from a server in the back of the house,” Waldo said. “The games are very similar in the way that they are visually represented in the cabinet itself.”

In a traditional slot machine found in commercial casinos, the machine can operate independently of a house server.

Waldo also said that certain types of video poker can be played at Class II casinos, but that they too are governed by predetermined holds in the casino's server.

"It will still be a game of chance," Waldo said. "In a Class II, you'll typically see more consistent wins and more consistent payouts, but jackpots are a little smaller. People tend to like that Class II a lot better."

For the player, these regulations may not make much difference in their experience on a machine. But for Four Winds South Bend to host table games and traditional slots, the Pokagon Band would have to negotiate a gaming compact with the state of Indiana, agreeing to share a portion of gambling revenues.

In Michigan, the tribe already has a compact. Table games can be found at Four Winds New Buffalo, Dowagiac and Hartford. But the compact means the tribe has to pay 8 percent of its slot revenues, according to Spectrum Gaming.

Bob Moody, vice chairman of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, said the band hasn’t initiated any compact negotiations with Indiana.

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