Poarch Creeks question plan to authorize casinos at racetracks

The Creek Casino Montgomery in Alabama. Photo from Facebook

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians is questioning a proposal to authorize Class III games at racetracks around the state.

The tribe would rather negotiate a compact that includes some form of exclusivity, Vice Chairman Robert McGhee said. That would mean no slot machines and no table games at the tracks.

“We think we have a better approach, one that we hope we have the opportunity to be heard and to sit down and discuss before we go down this road that we might not be able to get back from,” McGhee told the Associated Press.

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R), who released a gaming study last week, plans to introduce a gaming bill as early as this week. The draft version authorizes a compact, a lottery and Class III gaming at the tracks.

But Marsh does not appear to be interested in guaranteeing some form of exclusivity to the tribe. Without a meaningful concession from the state, a revenue-sharing compact is unlikely to be approved by the Bureau of Indian Affairs if a deal ever materializes.

The tribe owns Mobile Greyhound Park, one of the tracks that could gain Class III games. McGhee said the tribe might not be interested in expanding the options there.

One of the things the tribe would seriously have to consider is if we want to open Class III gaming at that site when Class III gaming doesn't bring any more revenue to the tribe," McGhee told the AP.

Get the Story:
Poarch Creeks push gambling compact (AP 5/3)
Study says Mobile Greyhound Park could reap $101 million in revenue with gambling expansion (AL.Com 5/1)
Recap: Could this be Alabama's last gambling fight? (The Montgomery Advertiser 5/3)

An Opinion:
Our view: Failed ideas and wrong directions (The Dothan Eagle 5/3)

Related Stories
Draft bill calls for a Class III gaming compact with Poarch Creeks (5/1)
Opinion: Negotiate Class III casino compact with Poarch Creeks (4/30)
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)

Join the Conversation