In Alabama and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians has announced the launch of a comprehensive public information campaign that is designed to raise awareness about the numerous financial benefits its three casinos bring to the southern state.
The federally-recognized tribe used an official Tuesday press release to declare that its Winning for Alabama undertaking is moreover intended to counter criticism from an anonymously-funded group that it should be forced to pay local taxes on its existing gaming revenues.
The Poarch Band of Creek Indians is responsible via its PBCI Gaming concern for Alabama’s Wind Creek Casino and Hotel Wetumpka, Wind Creek Casino and Hotel Atmore and Wind Creek Casino and Hotel Montgomery properties. Although these Class II facilities are located on aboriginal lands, a group known as Poarch Creek Accountability Now recently initiated a drive that is calling for the tribe to be made subject to local laws and brought into the general tax fold.
Poarch Creek Accountability Now is being led by former Alabama State Senator Gerald Dial and is unhappy that the tribe is using the profits from its trio of Alabama venues to acquire similar enterprises in other jurisdictions. The Poarch Band of Creek Indians also owns establishments in Florida, Nevada, Curacao and Aruba and spent approximately $1.3 billion in May to buy the former Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem development from Las Vegas Sands Corporation before rechristening it as Wind Creek Bethlehem.
However, the tribe stated that its Alabama venues contribute to social, economic, cultural and educational projects across ‘The Yellowhammer State’ and benefit ‘both tribal members and residents of these local communities and neighboring towns.’ It furthermore proclaimed that its Planned Giving Campaign regularly makes ‘significant donations’ to a range of area organizations that fund senior centers, educational scholarships, charitable projects and youth athletic programs.
The Poarch Band of Creek Indians pronounced that its Winning for Alabama campaign additionally lays out the benefits of allowing it to upgrade its three local facilities to full-blown Class III venues offering slots and house-banked table games such as craps and blackjack. The tribe explained that such a move would enable it to immediately hand over some $225 million to the state and see it agree to pay a 25% tax on all of its gaming revenues.
As if this wasn’t enough, the tribe revealed that its Winning for Alabama program also extols the benefits of giving it permission to construct a pair of new Class III casino resorts in northern Alabama. The Poarch Band of Creek Indians professed that this would lead to around $1 billion in annual aggregated tax revenues for the state comprising about $725 million from license and exclusivity fees alongside approximately $350 million in revenue duties.
Finally, Stephanie Bryan (pictured), Chair for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, used the press release to announce that the Winning for Alabama campaign is furthermore calling for the state to allow residents to vote on a range of other gambling issues such as whether legislators should authorize a ‘traditional lottery’ such as those already offered to players in neighboring Mississippi, Georgia and Florida.
Read a statement from Bryan…
“We have long believed that the economic power of gaming should be strategically harnessed to create opportunities for everyone who lives in Alabama. This plan does that and we are committed to making sure that our positions on gaming and our commitment to helping improve the quality of life in Alabama are clear.”