Michigan casino ends Lakes Entertainment casino management

Jul 4, 2011 7:02 AM

A decade ago, the 4,400 member Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians in Michigan saw the value of building and operating a casino but the tribe’s leadership realized they lacked the necessary expertise to put their desires in motion.

Wisely, the tribe turned to poker champion and casino developer extraordinaire Lyle Berman and his partner, Tim Cope.

The result was the development of the highly-successful Four Winds Casino Resort in New Buffalo, Michigan.

The property opened in 2007 and soon established itself as the premier gaming destination in the area.

Benefiting from the experience provided by Berman’s Lake Entertainment Inc. (LACO), the tribe decided it had developed the necessary expertise to run the operation with the expertise it has gained among its members. Last week, it announced an early buyout of its LACO contract.

"Lakes Entertainment has been a valuable and trusted partner for many years and we greatly appreciate everything they have done to help us achieve our independence. On behalf of all Pokagon Citizens and employees of Four Winds Casino Resort," said Matt Wesaw, chairman of the Band, "I’d personally like to thank Lyle Berman, Tim Cope and the rest of the Lake’s Entertainment management team."

Further evidence of the tribe’s gaming success can be found in its announcement that in August it plans to open Four Winds Hartford Casino Resort in Hartford, Michigan.