Poarch Band lobbies Florida lawmakers with trip to Alabama casino

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

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians hosted five members of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus at one of its casinos in Alabama, The Florida Times-Union reports.

The tribe paid for the lawmakers -- all Democrats -- to travel to the Wind Creek Casino and Hotel in Atmore, the paper said. The tribe also made campaign contributions to each lawmaker and donated an undisclosed sum to the non-profit foundation run by the Black Caucus.

The goal was to gain support for the tribe's gaming efforts in Florida. The tribe owns trust land in the state and has asked Gov. Rick Scott (R) to negotiate a Class III gaming compact. The tribe is also fighting for its right to add slot machines to the Creek Entertainment Gretna, a commercial racetrack in the Panhandle.

“We believe that we have fulfilled the requirements to have slots at our Gretna facility, and we are currently litigating this at the Supreme Court,” Wind Creek President and Chief Executive Officer James Dorris said. “We also are advocating to be included in legislation currently being discussed in conjunction with gaming in the state of Florida.”

The effort appears to have paid off. Rep. Bobby DuBose (D), who was part of the trip, said he supports slots at Gretna and will fight to include them in a Class III gaming compact for the Seminole Tribe that's under consideration in the Florida Legislature. The Seminoles operate casinos in the southern part of the state.

Get the Story:
Florida legislators' visit to Alabama casino is legal, but perception problem persists (The Florida Times-Union 1/23)
Rick Scott on Seminole Compact: “I did my job” (Florida Politics 1/21)
Senators Raise Questions On Florida Gambling Deal (The Times Service of Florida 1/21)
Anti-gambling group takes aim at Seminole deal (The South Florida Sun-Sentinel 1/20)
‘Exclusive’ rights scrutinized in Seminole gaming workshop (The Tampa Bay Tribune 1/20)
Senate remains reluctant as governor and tribe press hard on compact (The Tampa Bay Times 1/20)
Groups Lobby For, Against Seminole Compact (WGCU 1/20)

Related Stories
Howard Stutz: Seminole Tribe pushes for Class III casino compact (1/19)
Poarch Creeks debut new casino after $65M expansion project (12/02)
Poarch Creeks lose ruling over slot machines at Florida racetrack (10/05)
Seminole Tribe seeks to join case affecting Poarch Creek track (06/18)
Column: So much for a Class III casino deal with Seminole Tribe (6/11)
Column: Seminole Tribe can thank Poarch Creeks for casino ruling (06/04)
Editorial: Don't turn Poarch Creek racetrack into a full casino (6/2)
Editorial: Extend Class III gaming compact with Seminole Tribe (6/1)
Poarch Creeks win ruling for slot machines at Florida racetrack (6/1)

Join the Conversation