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Four Winds Hartford Fills to Capacity on Opening Day

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The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians was slated to open Southwest Michigan's newest casino at noon on Tuesday. But the gaming house was actually filled to capacity by noon, as managers let early birds enter the gaming hall prior to its official debut, reported

People lined up outside The Four Winds Hartford as early as 6 a.m. The 52,000-square-foot casino, which can hold 1,600 people, offers 500 slot machines, nine table games and the 100-seat Timbers Restaurant with a 15-seat bar.

The main Four Winds Casino, which opened in 2007, is about six times the size of the satellite Hartford location and operates in New Buffalo, about 45 miles away.

The Hartford gaming house is located in a gaming dense area—between the significantly larger FireKeepers Casino, which opened in 2009 near Battle Creek, and Gun Lake Casino, which opened in February near Grand Rapids. But the casino is expected to draw neighboring residents to play the slots.

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It will attract the slot mavens, not the big players, said Jacob Miklojcik, president of Lansing economic development consulting firm Michigan Consultants. It’s an “average Joe’s casino,” he told in an article published days before the casino's grand opening.