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Still Rolling—On a Four-Year Streak

Photo by Dan Anderson

It’s been a long time coming, but—little thanks to the white men on the hill—the Creek Indian tribe in Atmore has been enjoying some significant return on investment in recent years.

According to the annual Indian Gaming Industry Report, published in March by Casino City Press, the Poarch Creek Indian Gaming revenue grew 61 percent in 2010, the most recent year for which data was available. PCI Gaming—the corporate arm of the only Native American Indian tribe in Alabama, which operates casinos in Montgomery and Wetumpka as well as their tribal home of Atmore—also had double digit revenue gains the previous two years: 34 percent in 2009 and 45 percent in 2008.

It doesn’t take a bookie to lay off some of PCI’s 2010 gain on the state’s bust of PCI’s immediate competition—electronic bingo operations at non-Indian gambling centers around the state. But that’s not the big vig here, according to PCI Gaming President Jay Dorris.

“Go back before all of that happened,” Dorris told the Press Register’s George Altman. “We had already established very strong, double-digit growth patterns, and that’s going to continue, regardless of what happens.”

The big breakthrough for the Creeks came in January 2009, when they opened the Wind Creek Casino in Atmore—a $240 million investment that came after 25 years of struggling to get the state to negotiate in good faith under terms of the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Beginning in 1988, the Poarch asked the state to agree to Class III gambling, so they could step up from bingo halls to full-blown casinos, enabling them to compete on the same level as Mississippi tribal casinos.

Secretaries of the Interior—supposedly the next recourse after the state balks—also ducked. And federal courts ruled state sovereignty impervious to Indian attack.

Not until non-Indian casinos like Victoryland introduced electronic bingo machines and seem to get away with it did it seem feasible for the Poarch to make their big investment plunge.

Just three months later, in the April issue of Business Alabama, we reported operations were booming. And they haven’t stopped since.

“When you look at what exists around Alabama right now, and what Wind Creek is when it comes to gaming options, we’re without equal in the state,” Dorris told Business Alabama in 2009. “We put a lot of time and effort into providing a facility that would be competitive with, and in our opinion, better than what you’re going to find in Mississippi. We have a major investment and commitment to the quality of the facility and the quality of the gaming experience there.”

Before opening Wind Creek, the PCI finally got the state to come to an agreement. PCI did not get the Class III gambling it wanted, with roulette wheels and baccarat tables. But it did get an apparent endorsement of electronic bingo machines—that grey area that the state suddenly clamped down on for non-Indian casinos.

And for as long as it doesn’t break its treaty with the Poarch, the state gets something too. According to a study by the National Indian Gaming Association, just in that opening year of 2009, the Poarch Creek Tribe’s Wind Creek enterprise generated $10.3 million in state government revenue.

Apr 22, 2014 03:40 am
 Posted by  walkingblessing

too whom it may concern im a recent victim of a terrible accident that was n the making ive been contacted by a few lawyers n the past coupla days my sitituation i was celebrating my brothers 31 bday at windcreek casino in wetumpka i always rent presidental suites or platnium suites well on this night i drove in about 12 am check in room 1618 i noticed plugs was missing and alot things did not work in the room like the tv avi connections wifi plug outlets missing wires hanging etc well my intentions was taking a hot bath with my ole lady n goin too gamble all failed 30 mins after being in the room i called front desk too put in work order for room because i was dissapointed so i requested another room i was told there was no more available at the time and if i wanted another itll b after 4 pm the next day so i kept it n requested a work order for the tub the tub would not fill over 3 inch the mantaintence ,man came up in the room at the first thing comes out his mouth (yu guys must bn dope boys everytime i see u u in a suite were the dope at i replied bra u came too fix my tub not talk too my com-pany he got billegrant and walked back too the second room into the big bath room too do his job a few mins later he come out n say he cant fix the tub until the am because its broken or wat ever i replied wat i do bout a bath he said take a bird bath i told him too leave n i called the front desk n complained immediately after wards she told me agian mr sankey yu dont want the room i can reserve one tomoorow or u jus want have a room me not wanting too drive back 60 miles i stayed but went directly too casino my cuzz showed name sam which he drove one of my secondary vehicles from my apt he call me told me he arrived so i met him inside the casino he go up stairs with me n put his games n wallet n money up he was gonna gamble with we went directly back down stairs we gambled a coulpla hours sam stayed down staiirs like 5am or 6 my friend called n asked me too come up stairs cuz she jus woke n the room was full of water making fryin popping noise me being myself i didnt think nun of it i was thinkin she wass playin too get me up there too do the do i walk in the room go back by the bed room she on the bed crying scared because the eleticticty popin noises i immediatley called front desk let her kno she told me come down stairs asap i came right down there she got her walkie talkie n came directly up with me she walked in the room which is the night manager she step into the bed room my playstation sparked fire or some close too itt she almost fried her self i moved her back told her let me unplug my playstation not knowing if i was gonna fry myself or not it was either me or the 4 ppl n the room n there whole hotel right side full of suites this situation stared fromt here behalf they tried giving us free foood free games and pay us under the table i have pics also i have a written statement signed by the head director n night n day shift manager n the 4 othe pppl in the room i need a indian reservation lawer appointed plz resond asap i need too kno whois calling becasuse there lawyers are contacting me i told them kindly all i want is my stuff replaced shit im not lookin for no money i dont want it all i could think about is my family being dead from electrical fire as i told mr swan he tried too give me free food free gaming free watever i dont want that imma hard working man an ur casinos is a hobby for me im 29 all my siblings are that or older i dont party i jus like a safe place too go to and enjoy my freedom n women i never had a issue like this n on multiple occasions ive been too ur casino n hotel stay this monht april and march im flustered because they treated us like criminals and i have no criminal back ground please look into this matter im not tryn too go too no court or have a issue with me and my grand ma n fam coming too ur casino i feel that this needed higher attention i saved ur hotel from burning down and problay all ur suites room 1818 16 18 was the last 2 rooms i styaED IN mr swan doing all in his power too resolve this issue i had too replace some of ppls merchendise that was destroyed ur co woker or night manager came too the room n was devestated n alomost electricuted her self ur comany had electrical com[pany come in n redo the whole 1618 so please ne more info contact me by cell or email 3342096198 3342645112 3344626162 thanks godbless u and ur families

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