Four Winds New Buffalo Casino Michigan Review for May 2024

Lynsey Thompson

Updated by

Lynsey Thompson

Writer

Michael Graham

Fact Checked by

Michael Graham

Content Editor

Last Updated 17th May 2024, 01:55 PM

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Four Winds New Buffalo is the original flagship casino resort of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians.

After opening Four Winds New Buffalo, three more resorts followed: Four Winds Hartford in Michigan; Four Winds Dowagiac in Michigan; and most recently Four Winds South Bend, Indiana.

The original is still considered the primary property though and includes not only a large casino but a hotel, pool, restaurants, bars, shops and its own entertainment venue too.

So, what can you expect when you visit Four Winds New Buffalo? I went along to find out.

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♦️ Four Winds New Buffalo Casino Overview

Four Winds opened in August 2007 in the New Buffalo Township close to Lake Michigan.

It originally opened with just 165 hotel rooms but expanded in 2012 adding a further 250.

The property features a lot of wood and large timber structures both inside and out to give it a clear tribal American Indian theme with a rotunda built in the style of the Potawatomi people's traditional lodges.

Although not modern or comparable to new casinos in design, it’s well-themed with earthy tones, wood beams, a stone fireplace, and a real log-fire too. 

In fact, the whole place has a welcoming feel and combines the authentic design with the new modern casino and bars in a very complementary way.

Quick Info

🪪 Membership required:❌  No, but encouraged 
👔 Dress code:❌  No
🏧 ATMs:✔️ Yes, free to use
🚘 Parking:✔️ Yes, free parking
♿ Wheelchair accessible:✔️ Yes
🛏️ On-site accommodation:✔️ Yes
🍴 On-site restaurant:✔️ Yes, multiple
🍹 Free drinks and snacks:

✔️ Yes, soft drinks

🚬 Smoking:✔️ Yes, but only in certain areas

Location

Four Winds is situated just three miles out of New Buffalo, which is a lovely lakeside town.

It’s known as the Gateway to Michigan or the Hamptons of the Midwest, because you can access 16 miles of sandy Lake Michigan shoreline from it. 

New Buffalo also has the region's largest recreational harbour offering various water sports. So, if you want a stroll along the beach or enjoy some water adventures, then this is a great spot.

The area is surrounded by golf courses and wineries too, so there are plenty of local activities to get stuck into.

Although located in Michigan, Four Winds New Buffalo is actually only 70 miles from downtown Chicago. In fact, it takes less than two hours to drive there via an express way from Chicago O’Hare airport.

Free parking is available on site both outside the resort and in a parking garage.

🎰 Four Winds New Buffalo Casino Review

The casino at Four Winds New Buffalo is around 130,000 square feet which is comparable to Mandalay Bay and Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

That large gaming space runs the full length of the main property with a long corridor alongside it. On the opposite side of the corridor is where I could see shops, restaurants, bars, and the lobby.

The corridor is adorned in wood beams and pillars, stone brick work, polished floors and vaulted ceilings, and I was really impressed with it. Within the casino, the walls are plain cream with a brown/orange patterned carpet and low lighting. 

Since 2020, Four Winds New Buffalo is a non-smoking casino. The small area that used to be the no-smoking zone has now been converted into the smoking zone. However, this is purely just seats and doesn’t have any slots.

What I really liked about the casino was how spaced out the slots were. It was organised well, and there was plenty of room between each game to make it a really comfortable space in which to play. 

I visited on a Tuesday and the casino was quiet. I’m told it gets much busier on Fridays and Saturdays and on big American holidays.

Table Games Selection

I found around 40 table games at Four Winds New Buffalo with a variety of games on offer. 

There were tables for roulette, craps, blackjack, plus some poker pit and baccarat variations. They only opened from noon though, so don’t expect to play in the morning.

I saw table minimums as low as $5 which was a nice surprise, but that may have been because the casino was on the quiet side. This did go up to $10 and $15 as it turned to evening.

You’ve got to take advantage of $5 minimums, right? So, I played some blackjack for a while and the dealer was great. I even left $50 up so it was time well spent. All in the line of duty I’m sure you agree!

Classic table games:

  • Blackjack
  • Roulette
  • Craps
  • Three Card Poker 

Variants:

  • Free Bet Blackjack
  • Blackjack with Lucky Lady
  • High Card Flush
  • Criss Cross Poker
  • Let it Ride Poker
  • Bonus Craps 
  • No Way Craps
  • Heads-Up Hold’Em
  • Crazy 4 Poker
  • Mini and Midi Baccarat
  • Mississippi Stud Progressive
  • Pai Gow Progressive

Slots

The vast majority of the casino floor is taken up with slots. Over 1,900 of them to be more precise. And boy does it feel like it. With the low ceilings and the long casino layout, they looked to me like they went on forever.

There are some more traditional style three and five-reel games, but I couldn’t find any penny slots. The majority of games are the modern video slots that we all know and love.

They had a whole area specifically for the ever-popular Buffalo range of games on my visit, although I’m told they do change the games around quite often.

Some of the most popular games I saw include:  

  • Lock-It Link
  • Dollar Storm
  • Wheel of Fortune
  • Dragon Link
  • Buffalo Gold
  • Regal Riches
  • 88 Fortunes

I saw loads of progressive jackpots on offer too, both standalone and some wide area linked ones. Wheel of Fortune Triple Stars Gold Spin Deluxe had a progressive jackpot that starts at $300,000. There was also Buffalo Grand, Mega Grand Link, and Dollar Storm with a progressive jackpot starting at $500,000

Bar-Top Gaming

I only found bar-top gaming in one bar at Four Winds New Buffalo casino and that was in the C-Bar.

C-Bar is the central casino bar right in the middle of the action. You can grab a beer or a cocktail and soak up the casino atmosphere while playing bar-top video poker or blackjack.

Comped drinks are not offered for bar-top gaming here so if you’re a Vegas regular and are expecting some free drinks for your play, it won’t be coming.

If video poker is your game though, there’s a whole video poker area within the casino.

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Hit the C-Bar

C-Bar is where you want to be within Four Winds New Buffalo casino if bar-top gaming is your thing.

Four Winds New Buffalo Sportsbook

The Four Winds New Buffalo Sportsbook is right in the centre of the casino floor.

Only installed a few years ago, the sportsbook offers 22 HDTV’s with eight large screens around a pillar in the middle of the bar. 

There isn’t a lot of seating - some barstools, some lounge chairs and a couple of comfy sofas - so I’d imagine it would get pretty crowded when there’s a big sports game on. 

However, it was a nice space to take a breather from the gambling and have a beer while watching some sport.

You can place bets by scanning the QR code in the casino and choosing your bets on your mobile device. You then visit one of the betting kiosks, scan your QR again and your bet is placed. 

Waitress Service 

As per state laws, no comped alcoholic drinks are served on the casino floor. There is waitress service, but any liquor must be paid for. 

I saw very little of the waitress while I played slots, so it seemed very limited. What I did enjoy though was the free soda and coffee stations around the casino which meant I could have as many soft drinks as I wanted.

If you don’t want to leave your slot, you can ask the waitress for coffee and water, but always remember to tip.

130K Sq. Ft Venue
40+ Live Tables
3 Entertainment Spaces
1.9K Slot Machines
24/7 Always Open

High Limit Gaming at Four Winds New Buffalo 

If you have the budget to play higher stakes then you might enjoy the high-limit room at Four Winds New Buffalo.

Situated to the side of the casino, there’s a handful of high limit table games, around 70 slots, and a small lounge area with a TV.

I saw roulette, blackjack and midi baccarat plus some other tables. In terms of slots, there were high denomination games of all the favourites – Top Dollar, Wheel of Fortune, Buffalo and Dragon Link, plus loads more.

If you’re a mid-level gambler happy to spin at $5 a press then you should give this a whirl. There’s a misconception that you have to bet huge amounts to access high limit areas. But, actually, it’s very common for minimum bets to be $5. If this is within your budget then it can be a fun experience.

I played some $5 Dragon Link in here and hit one bonus, coming out around even and I was happy with that.

Cash and Payment Options

Cash is the only currency accepted on the casino floor. You can use card payments to pay for almost everything else, but you need cash for gambling.

To play slots, insert cash into the machine and when it pays out it will give you a voucher. You can then use this voucher as cash and insert it into another slot to keep playing or cash it out at a ticket redemption machine.

Meanwhile, at the table games you buy-in with cash at the table and then you are given chips in return. When you have finished playing, you cash out your chips at the cage.

Gambling in person offers something that even the best online casinos can’t offer, and that’s allowing you go get your winnings in your hand almost instantaneously. It’s faster than even the fast payout online casinos.

Although there are ATM’s on the casino floor, it’s always best to bring along your gambling spend if you can. If you need to get cash out then you will be at the mercy of ATM withdrawal fees. 

💰 Four Winds New Buffalo Casino Bonuses and Promotions

The rewards programme at Four Winds New Buffalo is called the W♣ Players Club. That’s not a typo, by the way. It’s what they chose to call it. Just don’t ask me how to actually say it. 

As with all casino loyalty programs, you build up points by spending money within the resort and then claim benefits such as free stays and slot freeplay.

The good news about W♣ Players Club is that it runs across all Four Winds resorts so you can pick up points by spending money at any of the four properties.

To register, just go along to any W♣ Players Club booth inside one of the Four Winds resorts. You must be 21 or over and have some photographic ID with you.

Once signed up, you can earn W♣ Club points every time you gamble in a Four Winds resort. There are three types of players cards you can get with varying benefits as below: 

  • Red (0 – 49,999 Points): instant credit and freeplay, dining credit, gift shop merchandise, exclusive member offers, 
  • Copper (50,000+ Points): as above with priority parking, players lounge access, shop discounts and front of line privileges 
  • Premier (invite only): Executive host and exclusive discounts

There is also a separate Veterans card which is available to US military veterans. This isn’t dependent on points and offers all the Red Card benefits as well as between 10% - 50% discounts on dining and shopping. 

Should you join W♣ Players Club?

I always think its worthwhile signing up to players clubs as it’s your chance to get some extra perks.

Signing up is free so it costs you nothing, and all you have to do is insert your card into the machine when you play slots or hand it to your dealer when you play at the tables. 

So, for very little effort on your part, you might as well build up points for money you were already going to be spending.

With W♣ Players Club you earn one W♣ Club point for every $2 you play in slots and for every $7 you play in video poker. Table game play is a little less systematic, as your points are based on your specific bet level and how long you play.

When it comes to redeeming points 100 W♣ points is equivalent to $1 in Instant Credit/Free Slot Play.

If you want to use your points for slotplay, then you do this directly in the slot by inserting your card and following the instructions. Alternatively, you can use Instant Credit towards restaurant and shopping bills.

Another benefit of joining Four Winds New Buffalo W♣ Players Club are the regular members-only promotions and discounts. 

At the time of writing there are several upcoming promotions. For example: $50,000 Spring Fever, $150,000 Outdoor Adventure, $75,000 Ultimate Summer Fun etc.

On selected promotion days, random draws are made throughout the day giving slot freeplay, cash prizes and unique experiences to members who can claim a draw entry every time they visit the casino during promotional periods.

There are also a huge range of regular discounts that members can access including 10-15% off the buffet every Thursday, 20% off Appetizers on Date Night Friday and other special discounts for food and drink. 

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Join the ♣

W♣ Players Club applies to all four Four Winds casinos, not just New Buffalo. That gives you more room to build rewards. 

🛏️ Four Winds New Buffalo Hotel and Resort

There are 415 rooms at Four Winds New Buffalo, all housed in an orange and cream hotel tower. The exterior of the hotel looks smart and well-kept but there certainly isn’t any wow factor to talk about. 

The inside is much more impressive and continues the tribal theming with earthy colours, large wood beams and brickwork in all public areas – with the main entrance being the most stunning of them all.

The hotel corridors are a bit darker though, with dark patterned carpets, plain walls and dark wood room doors.

When I went to book a room I was offered five different options - Standard Room, Studio Suite, Junior Suite, Deluxe Suite and Celebrity Suite. I decided to go for the Standard King Room.

Four Winds New Buffalo Rooms

The room was 410 square feet which I thought was spacious for a standard room. It included a small foyer area with a unit that housed a refrigerator, microwave and a Keurig coffee maker which again was unexpected for a basic room.

The overall décor of the room did look a little dark and dated though. Brown carpets, cream walls and dark word furniture made it all look a little dreary if I’m honest.

As well as the king size bed, there were two bedside cabinets, two chairs, a small table and a granite-top unit where the TV was situated with another chair and a make-shift desk area. The bathroom was a decent size with a good modern walk-in shower.

As well as the refrigerator, microwave, TV and coffee maker, other amenities included hairdryer, iron/ironing board, and in-room safe.

The window was floor to ceiling and let it loads of light. I had a nice view of the forest, but you can also get views of the pool area.

Overall, the room was more than adequate for my overnight stay. There wasn’t really any wear and tear in the room, and it was clean throughout. From a personal point of view I just thought the decoration let it down slightly, but the size and amenities more than makes up for it. 

Unfortunately, Four Winds New Buffalo don’t allow pets within their resort, so if you want to bring your four-legged friend along on your trip, you will have to stay elsewhere. 

Four Winds New Buffalo Pool

There is a small outdoor pool at Four Winds New Buffalo with a separate hot tub too. The pool area is on a patio surrounded by plants and flowers and has day beds and loungers all around it.

Due to the non-tropical Michigan weather conditions, the pool is seasonal and only open between late May and early September. There are also two fire-pits on site.

The pool was closed when I visited but it did look like a nice place to relax, and there’s also a Pool Bar for poolside dining. A local told me that in the summer, the Pool Bar sometimes has live music and themed parties leading out to the pool area. 

Bars

The two main casino bars at Four Winds New Buffalo are the Sportsbook Lounge and Bar, and C Bar. Both are positioned right in the middle of the casino floor and offer a great place to relax while still in the heart of all the action.

C-Bar is a little more sophisticated and offers some bar-top games and live entertainment while the Sportsbook is all about getting a prime position to see the game. 

Outside of that, Kankakee Grille has a bar area which has a lovely atmosphere and a live music stage. Copper Rock Steakhouse also has a bar you can sit and enjoy some wines in a more luxurious setting.

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Pool is seasonal

Anyone familiar with the weather in Michigan is unlikely to be wanting to spend time in an outdoor pool in winter, but bear in mind that the pool at Four Winds New Buffalo is only open between May and early September anyway. 

Buffets and Restaurant

The buffet is probably the most popular eating option at Four Winds New Buffalo. 

However, it’s only open Wednesday to Saturday and has set buffet options to choose from. I’d heard that it was a really good buffet and was disappointed it was closed on the day that I visited.

On Wednesday and Thursday you can choose the Bottomless All-American Dinner which is $32. On Friday and Saturday they have the Prime Rib and Shrimp buffet for $36.

Copper Rock Steakhouse is the most up-scale restaurant at Four Winds New Buffalo. Open Tuesday through Saturday, you can enjoy fine dining in a cosy but sophisticated setting. I ate here, choosing the Copper Classics set three course dinner which is available Tuesday to Thursday.

The food was delicious throughout, even the breadbasket was to die for, and it was topped off with the most heavenly chocolate filled bignnets (pastry pockets) too.

More casual eating options include Timbers, which serves a popular fast-food menu comprising of hot dogs, burgers, pizza, sandwiches, wings etc. I had the breakfast sandwich here and it was yummy.

Kankakee Grille is the other main food option, and it has a lovely atmosphere and feel to it. You can grab lunch or dinner here which is reasonably priced and there’s also a stage area for live entertainment.

Finally, White Birch Market is a coffee shop serving specialist coffee plus a range of gourmet sandwiches, salads, pastries, and desserts.

Shows and Entertainment

Four Winds New Buffalo has its own 1500 seated entertainment venue called the Silver Creek Event Center.

Hosting headline acts such as Michael Bolton, Don McLean, and Ringo Starr, the venue also has regular touring comedians and shows every month. The full events calendar can be found on the resort website.

Every weekend, Kankakee Grille hosts Kankakee Live on its in-house stage area. Performers include local and regional acts, acoustic soloists, and full bands so it is a really lively place to be if you’re in the party mood.

C-Bar also has weekend live entertainment, usually in the form of a DJ, but some occasional live music acts appear too.

Four Winds New Buffalo casino is vast and has loads of variety when it comes to both slots and table games. I loved how comfortable it was to play there with so much space.

💭 My Four Winds New Buffalo Verdict

I actually really enjoyed my stay at Four Winds New Buffalo. Although the outside is nothing to write home about, the grounds are pretty and the inside is full of character with a lovely atmosphere. 

The entrance and main corridor are stunning and I enjoyed the relaxed vibe throughout. There’s a good mix of bars and restaurants and the staff that I spoke to were all really friendly.

Meanwhile, the casino is vast and has loads of variety when it comes to both slots and games. I also loved how comfortable it was to play there with so much space.

The fact that you are so close to the beach in New Buffalo is a big plus as well, as is the outdoor pool and the fact there’s live entertainment and sports betting on site too.

My room wasn’t the most modern, it has to be said, but it had lots of positives going for it and I would have no hesitation in booking a return trip.

What I Liked and Didn't Like

Liked
Stunning tribal theming throughout
Large spacious casino with many slots
Great table game variation
Free soda machines
Spacious room full of amenities
Good food and bar options with live entertainment
W♣ Players Club
Didn't like
Poor waitress service at slots
Dull room decor
Buffet only open select days

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Meet The Author

8 Years
Experience
Lynsey Thompson
Lynsey Thompson
Writer Writer

Lynsey is a regular Las Vegas visitor and a keen slots and roulette player. As well as significant experience as a writer in the iGaming and gambling industries as an expert reviewer and journalist, Lynsey is one half of the popular Las Vegas YouTube Channel and Podcast 'Begas Vaby’. When she is not in Las Vegas or wishing she was in Las Vegas, Lynsey can usually be found pursuing her other two main interests of sports and theatre.

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