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Since 1997, the Michigan Gaming website has been a comprehensive resource regarding gaming in the state of Michigan. This site is an RMC Ventures, LLC publication, with contributions by the original creators of the site, Attorney David Waddell and Gaming Analyst Robert Russell, and additional contributions by Attorney J.J. Burchman.

Mr. Waddell,  Mr. Russell and Mr. Burchman are also associated with Regulatory Management Counselors, P.C., which proactively assists clients in managing regulatory issues in an effort to maximize company profits and avoid legal problems.

Volume 26, Issue 45

November 25, 2020

Printable Version



The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi and Four Winds Casinos is donating 1,000 Thanksgiving boxes to those in need during the week of Thanksgiving. The boxes will be distributed by the Food Bank of Northern Indiana through the St. Joseph County Pantry. Each box will include a ham, stuffing, corn, a potato, cranberry jelly, and a pumpkin roll.

"We are proud to be able to continue our tradition of giving back during the holiday season," said Matthew Wesaw, Tribal Council Chairman and CEO of the Pokagon Gaming Authority. "These Thanksgiving boxes can help families in Southwest Michigan and Northern Indiana, enjoy a holiday meal together during these challenging times. We are also grateful to work with our partners at the Food Bank of Northern Indiana who will distribute these meals."

"We are so grateful for our partnership with the Pokagon Band and its Four Winds Casinos for their commitment to feeding the hungry," said Marijo Martinec, Executive Director and CEO of the Food Bank of Northern Indiana. "The need is so great, and because of the generosity of Four Winds Casinos, families struggling with hunger will have a delicious meal to celebrate Thanksgiving this year."



The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi donated $62,220 in proceeds from the 2020 Four Winds Invitational to Beacon Children's Hospital. The donation will be used to purchase Centrella Smart+ Beds for the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Beacon Children's Hospital to improve patient mobility and prevent pressure injuries. The 2020 Four Winds Invitational was held September 4-6, and was part of the Symetra Tour - Road to the LPGA. Over the past nine years that Four Winds has hosted the tournament, the Pokagon Band has donated $734,720 to Beacon Health System.

"Despite the continued health, safety and economic challenges caused by COVID-19, we are very pleased that we were still able to complete our ninth annual Four Winds Invitational tournament this year," said Matthew Wesaw, Tribal Chairman of the Pokagon Band and CEO of Pokagon Gaming Authority. "Donating the proceeds from the Four Winds Invitational is just one of many ways we provide support to Michiana and South Bend communities, and we hope that this year's donation to help purchase Centrella Smart+ Beds will further enhance the quality of care Beacon Children's Hospital delivers to all the children and families it serves."

"In speaking on behalf of my fellow Four Winds team members, we are very proud to have been able to plan and organize the Four Winds Invitational for the last nine years," said Frank Freedman, COO of Four Winds Casinos. "Even though the tournament looked completely different this year, there was still the same high level of enthusiasm from our employees, sponsors and players, which helped us complete another successful event."

"On behalf of everyone at Beacon Health System, and most importantly our pediatric patients, we want to thank the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, Four Winds Casinos, and Blackthorn Golf Club for their commitment to children in our community," said Susan King, President of the Beacon Health Foundation. "Today the need is greater than ever, and their partnership helps us provide children and families in our region with hope and healing close to home."

"The Four Winds Invitational is firmly established as one of the premier events on the LPGA Symetra Tour and despite the various challenges caused by COVID-19, including having to reschedule the tournament for a later date, completing the tournament was a testament to the commitment of the Pokagon Band and its Four Winds Casinos to give back to the community," said Tim Firestone, CEO of Blackthorn Operating Group. "It truly was a great collaborative effort by everyone involved, while still making it enjoyable for the players."



FireKeepers Casino Hotel announced that it has made its annual donation of 2,500 turkeys to five Battle Creek area food banks, in addition to FireKeepers' Kendall Street Pantry, to help provide a traditional holiday meal to those in need.

2020 marks the eleventh consecutive year that FireKeepers has donated turkeys to food banks. Since opening, FireKeepers Casino Hotel has made it a priority to contribute to food banks and community organizations throughout the year. This includes distributions to the FireKeepers Local Revenue Sharing Board (FLRSB) and the State of Michigan, as well as focusing business operations on local spending.

"We are especially proud to be able to help our neighbors in need this year, and every year for the past 11 that we've been operating," said FireKeepers CEO, Kathy George. "2020 has been a year of irregularities, but one thing our community can depend upon is support from FireKeepers Casino Hotel and its owners, the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi."

The Food Bank of South Central Michigan in Battle Creek received 1,500 turkeys this year. Four regional locations have also been selected for a donation of 200 turkeys each:

  • Food Gatherers in Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank in Comstock Park, Michigan
  • Community Harvest Food Bank in Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Greater Lansing Food Bank in Lansing, Michigan

The Kendall Street Pantry will also receive a donation of 200 turkeys on December 14 to prepare for donations during the Christmas season. The Kendall Street Pantry is a non-profit organization that is part of The Fire Hub, a restaurant owned by FireKeepers Casino Hotel.


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