The state of Alabama has struggled financially over the last twelve months and the government has found it difficult to meet its budgeted expectations. The Poarch Band of Creek Indians in Alabama came forward last week with a $250 million compact that was supposed to help the state government bridge its budget shortfall.
The Poarch Band of Creek Indians is the only federally recognized tribe in the state and enjoys a monopoly on the gambling industry as it runs all three gaming venues in the state. The $250 million compact that the tribe has offered comes with a few conditions and one of which includes obtaining the exclusive class three gaming rights that will allow the tribe to offer table games and slot machines at the Creek Casino Montgomery; Creek Casino Wetumpka; and the Wind Creek Casino & Hotel in Atmore.
Should the state government approve the compact with the conditions outlined by the tribe, then state would be eligible to receive an upfront $250 million loan along with an average of $50 million each year for as long as the compact lasts.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) has gone on record to say that this government cannot accept a $250 million loan because no such proposal was officially made in the first place. He also states that the compact proposed by the tribe appears to be disingenuous and bogus because the $250 million would only be advance money that will mandatorily have to paid down the road to the state.
While the compact does look to be the best solution for the state government on a short term basis, government officials are concerned of the long term implications of giving the Poarch Band of Creek Indians a monopoly of Albama’s gaming industry.
The Poarch Band of Creek Indians has invested heavily into a promotion campaign urging voters to push their legislators into accepting the $250 million bailout and signing the compact. The tribe’s chairwoman Stephanie A. Bryan has also objected to Governor Bentley’s accusation of the compact being bogus and stated that the tribe’s offer was sincere and genuine.
In a statement, Bryan said “We are sincere in our offer to give Alabama the $250 million it needs now. And we are confident that where there is a will to fix this problem, the great legal minds in our state’s government will find a way to accept this ground-breaking solution for the good of Alabama and its citizens.”