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Alabama AG Fights Tribal Gaming Expansion

1 August 2006

ALABAMA – As reported by the Tuscaloosa News: "Attorney Gen. Troy King is fighting the good fight to stop the expansion of Indian gambling in Alabama.

"Unfortunately, the deck may be stacked against him in at least part of his effort against plans by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians to add pari-mutuel wagering on dog and horse races, poker tournaments and sweepstakes to its existing gambling operation.

"The tribe, based in Atmore, also wants to make changes in its bingo operation, which has provided a steady flow of income over the years.

"The U.S. Department of the Interior will make the decision on the Poarch Band request, filed in March. King responded with a letter of opposition last week.

"Class III gaming, which includes lotteries, pari-mutuel betting and other operations, is subject to negotiations between the state and the tribe. For a tribe to offer new Class III gaming, the state in which the reservation is located must permit the same specific gaming activities that are sought for the tribal lands.

"… However, King concedes that state law permits pari-mutuel wagering on horse and dog races in some locations. Although he says he objects strongly to allowing this kind of wagering to expand to the American Indian lands, King asks that it be subject to the same restrictions that apply to pari-mutuel betting elsewhere in the state if Interior officials approve it…"

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