Poarch Creeks oppose efforts to expand gaming in Alabama

The Wind Casino and Hotel in Atmore, Alabama. Photo from Facebook

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians opposes efforts to expand gaming in Alabama, Vice Chairman Robert McGhee said at a public hearing on Tuesday.

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R) introduced a bill to authorize slot machines and table games at racetracks. The expansion would be put to a referendum because it amends the state constitution.

The bill also authorizes Gov. Robert Bentley (R) to enter into negotiations for a Class III gaming compact. But without a guarantee of exclusivity or clear limits on the tracks, the tribe is opposing the measure.

"It's like handing your teenager a credit card with no rules attached and then being surprised when you get a bill that looks like the Alabama budget deficit. It's a backwards thinking that opens the door to potentially irresponsible practices that would be hard to rein in after the fact," McGhee said of the plan to allow Class III games at the tracks, the Associated Press reported.

The tribe has offered to share revenues with the state in exchange for some form of exclusivity. Republican leaders do not appear to be interested in that idea.

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