In the state of Alabama, Senator Del Marsh has been pushing a gambling bill, to see residents vote on whether or not they want a lottery and/or up-to 10 casinos to be created. In a surprising turn of events this week, Marsh is now facing a lawsuit in connection with the gambling law. The senator is being accused of soliciting bribes from the Poarch Band of Creek Indians and taking money in relation to expanded gambling potential.
Pay to Play Scheme
Plaintiffs in the case, Age With Dignity, Inc, Dream Count, INC, and OIC Dream Greene County, have all accused the senator of taking part in a pay-to-play plan. March has denied the claims and says that the accusations are a ‘flat out lie.’
The Poarch Band of Creek Indians also says the allegations are false. Director of governmental affairs and public relations, Robert McGhee, stated that the accusations are not true, unfounded and nonsense.
On top of the bribery allegations, the lawsuit also claims that the bill by Marsh, SB 214, would create an illegal monopoly. Right now, the legislation would allow five locations to offer casino-style gaming, most of which are current casinos that are run by the tribe.
The Poarch Band already offers Class II games and with the change, would be able to provide full-on Las Vegas-style gaming. The tribe operates the Wind Creek Casino and Hotel Montgomery, the Wind Creek Casino and Hotel Wetumpka, and the Wind Creek Casino and Hotel Atmore.
The plaintiffs in the case are represented by attorney Thomas Gallion. He said that he was hired by the three charities located in Greene County, organizations that legally offer gaming options under the law and receive funding that way. They feel the gambling legislation is blocking their operations and giving a monopoly to a select few, including Poarch Creek.
Movement on the Bill
The bill is expected to be taken up in the Senate today. Marsh said that the Senate is working on moving the legislation and he is working with everyone to try and come up with a plan that works across the board. The senator says it is time to address the issue and control gaming in the state along with starting to reap the benefits from something that is already going on.
If the bill is approved by the full Senate, it will move on to the House. Marsh is currently considering adding two more casinos to the bill. A new gaming commission could be created to decide where the venues would be located.