Four Winds launches sportsbook at three Michigan casinos

NEW BUFFALO — Months of planning came to fruition on Monday at the Four Winds casinos in Dowagiac, New Buffalo and Hartford, as the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi launched its sportsbook capabilities.

The three Michigan casinos join Four Winds South Bend in hosting a sportsbook. That means visitors can place bets on a variety of sports, including football, baseball, basketball, soccer and hockey.

Four Winds has joined with Kambi Group in operating the sportsbook. Kambi has also worked with the likes of Draft Kings, Rush Street Gaming and Penn National.

Last December, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill that would allow sports and online gambling. Plans have been in the works ever since to bring sports betting to the Four Winds properties.

“A lot of planning and time took place over the past several months to get to this point,” said Frank Freedman, chief operating officer of Four Winds Casinos. “The Pokagon Band and its Four Winds Casinos continually strive to exceed expectations and enhance the entertainment experience of our guests. We feel the Four Winds Sportsbook will add an additional level of excitement sports enthusiasts have been looking for.”

On-hand to make the ceremonial first bet was former Chicago Bear and Super Bowl champion Steve “Mongo” McMichael, who placed $20 on the Bears to win this year’s Super Bowl, although he did not have a lot of confidence in his bet.

“This is something everybody has needed,” McMichael said about local sports betting. “Some of these states are finally getting it right, aren’t they? Now, I have a $20 bill here, and it is my pleasure to make the first sportsbook bet here is $20 on the Bears to win the Super Bowl. All that means is the casino is going to make some money on the first bet.”

Sports fans may also use their smartphones to scan a QR code to reach the Four Winds betting website and make their bets. They must then go to guest services at Dowagiac and Hartford or the sportsbook area in New Buffalo with their new QR code to complete the betting process.

Currently, sports fans can only complete their bets on site. The ability to place bets from anywhere is still a way down the road, according to Pokagon officials.

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