Opinion: Negotiate Class III casino compact with Poarch Creeks

The Creek Casino Montgomery. Photo from Facebook

Conservative writer calls on Alabama to enter into a Class III gaming compact with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians:
I have a 30-year record of opposing public, for-profit gambling (apart from horse racing, which for better or worse has a long cultural history behind it). You name it – casinos, lotteries, video poker – if it's not a private game, and if there's a "house" or state-sponsorship, then I'm against it, for reasons numerous enough to require an entire, separate column.

But Indian tribes, for valid historical reasons, do enjoy some sovereign rights. They have often used that sovereignty to run gambling operations, subject to certain restrictions by the states in which they operate. I think they err in doing so, but that's their choice.

Right now, Alabama restricts them to electronic bingo games only. Frankly, if gambling must be allowed, that is the least civilizing form. Conversely, blackjack and similar games require human interaction and human judgment, and create more jobs. If there must be Poarch Creek gambling, it might as well include card games. They certainly won't harm the public weal any more than electronic bingo already does.

What surely would be harmful, though, is expansion of gambling (and state lotteries) beyond the confines of Indian areas. At least Indian gambling is limited both geographically and in terms of an ethical recognition of their due sovereignty. Yet now comes state Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, trying to solve perpetual budget problems, to propose a widespread expansion of gambling (beyond Indian control) and a lottery.

Get the Story:
Quin Hillyer: Poarch Creek gambling can boost long-term reforms (AL.Com 4/30)

Another Opinion:
Don Eddins: Casinos and a lottery? This time it's one of the state's top GOP leaders talking gaming (The Auburn Villager 4/30)

Related Stories
Poarch Creeks offer $250M for Class III gaming deal in Alabama (4/29)
Alabama Democrats push for gaming compact for Poarch Creeks (04/09)
Alabama governor won't enter gaming deal with Poarch Creeks (02/12)
Editorial: Battle against Poarch Creek casinos is a waste of time (01/26)
Poarch Creeks remain confident after hearing in casino case (01/14)

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