Yellowhammer News on YouTube: PCI's Robby McGhee on Lottery

Poarch Band of Creek Indians open to lottery in Alabama

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians welcomes debate on a lottery bill, Vice Chairman Robert R. McGhee said.

Appearing on Alabama Public Television on Friday, McGhee said a lottery won't have a major impact on the tribe's gaming enterprise. He noted that one facility is located near Florida, where the lottery is already legal.

“One of our casino locations, of course, is in Atmore, Alabama – probably 10 miles from the Florida line where a lottery is sold,” McGhee said on APT's Capitol Journal program. “And we have many people within that area that play. And so, we don’t feel it would have an economic impact, and that’s why we said we don’t mind supporting it if it is something good for the state of Alabama.”

In some states, the existence of a lottery has opened the door for tribes to engage in Class III gaming, such as slot machines and card games. But McGhee, whose appearance on the program was first reported by Yellowhammer News, refused to say whether the Poarch Band would follow the same approach if Alabama legalized a lottery.

Though he acknowledged that lottery is considered a Class III game under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, he said "it doesn’t mean that automatically that the tribe can go out and operate these games.”

Regardless of the effects of a legal lottery, the tribe would need to negotiate a Class III gaming compact to offer slot machines, card games and similar offerings. So far, the state has refused to sit down at the table.

Read More on the Story
Poarch Creek Indians’ Robbie McGhee: We don’t mind supporting a lottery ‘if it is something good for the state of Alabama’ (Yellowhammer News September 24, 2018)

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