The Poarch Band of Creek Indians owns and operates the Wind Creek Casino in Atmore, Alabama, which is part of the tribe's multi-state gaming portfolio. Photo: U.S. Library of Congress

Poarch Band of Creek Indians offers billions of dollars in gaming revenues

With a campaign called Winning for Alabama, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians is promising to share billions of dollars in gaming revenue with the state.

The tribe is supporting legislation to authorize a lottery at the state level. Doing so opens the doors to a Class III gaming operation, which the tribe says would generate significant benefits to all Alabamans through jobs, economic investments and other opportunities.

“We have long believed that the economic power of gaming should be strategically harnessed to create opportunities for everyone who lives in Alabama,” Poarch Creek Chair and CEO Stephanie Bryan said in a news release. “This plan does that, and we are committed to making sure that our positions on gaming and our commitment to helping improve the quality of life in Alabama are clear. “

The tribe has long sought a Class III gaming compact but a string of governors have refused to come to the table. Gov. Kay Ivey (R) appears to be carrying on that tradition, telling the media that it's up to state lawmakers to determine how to move forward.

“If we are going to have a lottery in this state, it has to start in the Legislature and then it goes to a vote before the people,” Ivey said on Wednesday. Al.Com reported.

Through a Class III gaming compact, the tribe is seeking to offer slot machines, black jack, craps and related games. The tribe would share revenues from those games in exchange for a promise of some form of exclusivity.

According to the tribe, such an arrangement would bring in $1 billion after the first year of operation. The figures depend on the tribe being able to open two new casino resorts in Alabama, in addition to bringing Class III games to existing facilities that currently offer Class II games like bingo and electronic forms of bingo.

“We hope that the information we are making available will prompt both citizens and our state’s legislators to seriously consider a solid plan for gaming that can have real economic benefits for Alabama,” said Bryan. “We believe that it is important everyone in the state has access to honest information and constructive ideas so they can make the best decisions about an issue that is critically important to Alabama’s economic well-being and quality of life.”

When it comes to Indian gaming, Alabama is one of the few holdouts regarding full-scale Class III operations. Texas and Nebraska also fall into the bunch.

The tribe, through its Wind Creek Hospitality enterprise, operates or manages tribal and commercial casinos across the U.S. and in other countries.

Read More on the Story
Ivey on Poarch Creek Indians gaming plan: ‘Start it in the Legislature’ ( November 13, 2019)
Poarch Band of Creek Indians propose compact that could pay billions to State of Alabama (Yellowhammer News November 13, 2019)
Poarch Band of Creek Indians seek to expand Alabama gaming with exclusive rights (WRBL November 13, 2019)
Poarch Band of Creek Indians proposes gambling compact with Alabama (Birmingham Business Journal November 13, 2019)
Analysis | Poarch Creeks’ initial gaming offer isn’t terrible, but lawmakers would be crazy to accept it (Alabama Political Reporter November 12, 2019)

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