Poarch Band of Creek Indians seek to expand Alabama gaming with exclusive rights

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MONTGOMERY, Ala (WRBL)- The Poarch Band of Creek Indians are out with a new plan.  They say is could bring billions of dollars to Alabama, but they’re also asking the state for a big favor. 

Leaders of the tribe are calling this a comprehensive plan for gaming in Alabama, but the question is how will this go over with the governor and the legislature.

In a new plan, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians would like to expand their operations to the northern part of the state. They say this would bring in new revenue to Alabama, while also creating jobs.

But to move towards class three gaming that would have to be negotiated with the governor.

“I think we’ve always been open to having the conversation. You’ve heard us talk about his for years with different governors,” said Robbie McGee with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

We reached out to the Governor’s office about a deal.

They responded saying –“The governor, as she has previously stated, is open to Alabama having a clean lottery. This proposal goes further and would need to be thoroughly discussed and fully vetted. Ultimately, this is a question for the legislature, but the governor is open to hearing any recommendations.”

Representative Pebblin Warren has Victoryland in her district and if a deal is made, she would like to see them protected.

“My whole thing is that we should be able to do what we started doing in 2003 and continue to do it, and the Native Americans can do anything they want to as long as we can do what we want to,” said Warren.

Warrens says she filed a bill to protect gaming in her district.

One of the criticisms the tribe often faces is that they don’t pay state taxes and that’s because they are federally regulated.

Their arrangement is they employee lots of Alabamians.

Political analyst Steve Flowers says this deal could lead to the Poarch Band of Creek Indians having exclusivity on gaming.

“Yes, they employee people, but one of the reasons why they employee so many people is because they don’t pay taxes.  A lot of businesses would prosper if they didn’t pay any taxes,” said Flowers.

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