Pokagon Band Selects Kambi to Manage Sportsbooks

Kambi will install and manage self-serve sports betting kiosks at the three Four Winds Casinos. The “Bring-Your-Own-Device” bet-builder technology allows patrons to place their wagers on their mobile phone and create a QR code that can be processed as the sportsbook.

After evaluating proposals received through a competitive bidding process, the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians has chosen Malta-based tech company Kambi Group PLC to provide sportsbook management services to its three Four Winds Casinos in Michigan. 

Mobile sports betting will eventually launch statewide, after the retail sportsbooks start operating. Terms of the online and on-property deal were not disclosed. 

Patrons can soon cast bets at self-serve kiosks at the Tribe’s three southwest Michigan casinos — New Buffalo, Dowagiac, and Hartford.

“We are excited to partner with Kambi to bring sports betting to Four Winds Casinos and take the gaming experience we offer guests to the next level,” said Frank Kennedy, senior vice president of gaming operations for Four Winds Casinos in a statement. “We look forward to announcing the details of the sports betting options we will offer at our Michigan locations in the near future.”

The Pokagon Band also owns and operates a casino across the border in Indiana (part of the Band’s original territory), the Four Winds Casino South Bend, which opened in early 2018. While Indiana permits sports betting, the current Tribal-state compact doesn’t allow the Band to offer Class III gaming. Negotiations are underway; a compact could be approved as soon as next year, and then it would require ratification by the legislature. 

Pokagon Gaming is not the first Tribal gaming arm to select Kambi as a partner to spearhead retail and mobile sports betting. The company headquartered in Malta is also leading sportsbook operations for Mohegan Sun and the Seneca Gaming Corp. As Kristian Nylén, Kambi CEO, previously said: “Kambi’s strategy in the U.S. is to partner with the biggest and best gaming operators each state has to offer. In Mohegan Sun, not only have we partnered with one of the two largest casinos in Connecticut, but also one of the leading gaming and entertainment destinations across the whole of the country.” 

Mohegan Sun will launch its sportsbooks when state lawmakers approve sports betting. The Sports Lounge at Seneca Casinos started accepting bets in December 2019. “Brick and mortar [betting] is going to be substantial profit, but we’re also waiting for [online betting] to come in, maybe next year through legislation,” Seneca Nation President Rickey Armstrong Sr. previously said. In the interim, patrons can initiate their bets offsite via their mobile devices, then receive a QR code to complete their bets on-site at the Seneca Nation-owned casinos’ electronic kiosks or staffed teller windows.