The Pokagon Band is touting its success in helping the local economy over the past year. Tribe officials say in 2012, they made nearly $35 million in additional contributions to the economy outside of annual payments made directly to the state as part of its compact, job creation and other benefits from the Four Winds Casinos and other ventures. In a statement, Chairman Matt Wesaw says they've spent money on water quality and wetlands reserve programs in southwest Michigan and northern Indiana. The Pokagon Fund, supported by electronic gaming revenue from the New Buffalo Four Winds Casino, pumped $2.6 million into the New Buffalo area. Those same revenues also resulted in $5.6 million being contributed tot the New Buffalo Local Revenue Sharing Board and $1 million to the Hartford Local Revenue Sharing Board. A third Four Winds Casino is expected to open this year in Dowagiac.
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