Local Residents Say Poarch Creek Casino Benefits Entire Town Advantage Gambling
The small town of Atmore has been growing and prospering ever since the Poarch band of Creek Indians opened Wind Creek, their towering casino operation in the small town. One resident Tavarus Tucker, also known as bucket remembers what it was like before the casino. Tucker got his nickname after his mother found him head over heels in a bucket of horse feed. He works at a local diner that is just one of many businesses that were created after the casino opened. Staring out the windows of the diner one can see other new developments such as a Hardees, Holiday Inn, McDonalds and others. Some say a Wal-Mart may come to town. The casino has provided a lot of economic development in the area and has created hundreds of jobs.
Now the state wants to shut the casino down. Many workers wonder what their future will be if the casino is shut down. It would appear that attorney general Luther Strange and his minions could care less about the workers in Atmore. Strange plans to sue to close the casino as a public nuisance. Tucker stated “Without the casino, there really wouldn’t be any reason to stop here. Not everyone believes the casino is responsible for all the development. For years the city has been marketing a parcel of land they call “Rivercane and want to use the parcel for mixed land development. Mark A. Dauber of John Stanley & Associates Inc., said the development was in the works before the casino and that the new businesses would have located in Atmore without the casino.
Most locals believe that the casino attracted the new businesses and development. Wind Creek is identical to a Las Vegas casino. There are rows of crowded slots in the smoky casino. Players dont use coins or tokens. Instead they use fidelity cards a way to keep track of who spends what and reward high rollers with food, drinks, show tickets and more. In 2011 income from the Tribes casinos was up 26% and the tribe invested the money in local businesses including a multiplex theater and bowling alley and has donated money to local schools.
State officials are arguing that games of chance are illegal in Alabama and are trying to shut the casino down. Legal experts say the state has no standing to sue the tribes. The argument stems from the use of electronic bingo machines which the state contends are slot machines. Local Priscilla Moody, of Chickasaw, said Strange should leave the tribe alone. It will take years for Stranges lawsuit to wend its way through the federal court system. He has already wasted tens of millions in taxpayer dollars pursuing his irrational vendetta against bingo in Alabama and hopefully the voters will express their displeasure during the next election cycle.