Draft bill calls for a Class III gaming compact with Poarch Creeks

A view of the gaming floor of the Creek Casino Montgomery. The tribe only offers Class II games at its facilities. Photo from Facebook

A draft gaming bill authorizes negotiations for a Class III gaming compact with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians but the tribe and Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) aren't too excited about being forced to the table.

The tribe has long offered to negotiate and Bentley remains open to the idea, a spokesperson said. But the bill's use of the word "instructed" in Section 7 appears to mandate that the parties come to the table and reach an agreement regardless of their stances.

The measure, however, could change before its planned introduction next week. It's being pushed by Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R), who released a gaming study on Monday.

The bill would authorize a lottery and slot machines and table games at four racetracks, one of which is owned by the tribe. It imposes a 13 percent tax on those tracks.

Under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, states cannot impose taxes on tribal casinos. Revenue sharing agreements, however, are common but only when some form of exclusivity is offered.

Poarch Creek Vice Chairman Robert McGhee has said the tribe would not be interested in Class III games at the Mobile Greyhound Park because it could draw customers away from its Indian gaming facilities.

Get the Story:
Mixed reactions to draft of gambling, lottery bill (The Montgomery Advertiser 5/1)
Senate leader releases lottery bill (The Anniston Star 5/1)
Draft bill calls for lottery, four casinos in Alabama (AL.Com 4/30)

An Opinion:
Editorial: Turnaround on gambling remarkable (The Montgomery Advertiser 5/1)

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