Poarch Band of Creek Indians offered $1B for Florida casino deal

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians owns a one-acre parcel of trust property along Nokomis Road in McDavid, Florida. The tribe has constructed a building at the site, not shown in this Google Maps image dated May 2011. Image from Google Maps

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians offered to share $1 billion in a Class III gaming compact with the state of Florida, FloridaPolitics.Com reports.

The tribe planned to invest $200 million to $250 million in a gaming facility in the Sunshine State, documents obtained by the website showed. But Gov. Rick Scott (R) refused to come to the table because his administration doesn't believe the tribe's trust land qualifies under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Scott's then-general counsel told the tribe in September 2014 that “it is premature for Florida to engage in any compact negotiations until (the Poarch Band) obtains a Indian lands determination from the United States Department of Interior," FloridaPolitics.Com reported. The letter came six months after Chairwoman Stephanie Bryant asked for the compact.

The one-acre site in Nokomis was placed in trust in 1984 so it presumably can be used for gaming. But neither the Interior Department nor the National Indian Gaming Commission, appear to have explicitly confirmed that.

The tribe built a metal structure on the site near the intersection of Nokomis Road and Tullis Road, NorthEscambia.Com reported in February 2015. It's not clear what the building is being used for.

The tribe operates Creek Entertainment Gretna, a commercial racetrack, in Florida and many of its members live in the state. Poarch Creek headquarters are in Atmore, Alabama, about 12 miles from the Nokomis site.

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