Alabama governor won't rush into 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

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) said he won't enter into Class III gaming compact negotiations with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians until the state addresses its fiscal crisis.

Bentley confirmed that his attorneys met with the tribe to discuss a compact. But he said the state has a more pressing issue -- a $541 million budget deficit.

"I have no intention of doing anything with gambling, with negotiations with the Poarch Creek Indians, I have no intention of doing anything until we get $541 million," Bentley said at a press conference on Monday, the Associated Press reported.

Bentley also slammed a proposal to authorize a lottery and Class III games at racetracks. Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R), who released a gaming study last week, is introducing his bill today.

"It is one of the worst pieces of legislation I have ever seen," Bentley said, according to news reports.

The tribe also has questioned plans to authorize slot machines and table games at racetracks. The tribe would rather negotiate a compact that includes some form of exclusivity, Vice Chairman Robert McGhee said.

Get the Story:
Bentley says gambling isn't the answer to budget woes (AP 5/4)
Gov. Robert Bentley says 'Alabama better than to depend on gambling (AL.Com 5/4)
Bentley slams gambling, threatens special session (The Montgomery Advertiser 5/5)
Could Alabama benefit from a compact with PCI? (The Alabama Baptist 5/5)

An Opinion:
John Archibald: Has Alabama seceded from the Bible Belt? (AL.Com 5/5)

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