Pokagons give $6 million to local revenue sharing board

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NEW BUFFALO, Mich. – The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians recently presented a check for nearly $6.2 million to the Pokagon-New Buffalo Area Local Revenue Sharing Board. The check represents two percent of the electronic gaming device revenues from the tribe’s Four Winds Casino Resort in New Buffalo, Mich.

The presentation of a seven-foot ceremonial check took place during the revenue sharing board’s meeting held at the New Buffalo City Hall. The LRSB will distribute the funds to local municipalities and other units of government in southwest Michigan in the coming months.

“Our tribe is proud to be able to share these funds from our casino with our neighbors in the local communities,” said Tribal Chairman John Miller. “We congratulate the local revenue sharing board for developing a fair distribution plan that will maximize the benefit of these funds for local governments, libraries and schools.”

The Pokagon Band had been holding these funds in an interest-bearing escrow account, citing concerns that the original LSRB bylaws and the distribution formula was not consistent with the compact agreement signed by the tribe with the State of Michigan. Last July, the Pokagons negotiated and signed a new compact with the state that reorganized the LRSB by adding new members and setting new guidelines used to distribute the funds.

The revenue sharing board receives the money and distributes it to the county, local governments and schools. The five members of the board include a representative from New Buffalo Township, the City of New Buffalo, Berrien County, the Pokagon Band, and a revolving member currently held by a Chikaming Township official, who represents other area governments. All board decisions to distribute the money must be unanimous.