ATMORE, Ala. (WALA) - Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange has filed a lawsuit Tuesday, February 19, against the Poarch Creek Indians in Atmore, alleging they are running an illegal gambling operation at their Wind Creek Casino.
AG VS POARCH CREEK
The Wind Creek Casino is a multi-million dollar operation run by the Poarch Creek Band of Indians. Strange filed a lawsuit Tuesday morning alleging the Poarch Band is using illegal machines in their operation.
Strange, who turned down our requests for an interview, said in a press release :
"Although state police officers cannot enforce state law on tribal land by executing a warrant to seize unlawful devices, the lawsuit contends that Poarch Creek still has an obligation to comply with state laws and prohibit slot-machine gambling."
POARCH OFFICIALS: UNWARRANTED ATTACK
Poarch Creek officials contend their machines don't even fit the definition of slot machines and this is another unwarranted attack by the state.
Keith Martin, who is on the Poarch Creek Indian Council said, "It's been a constant battle with the officials with the State of Alabama. They've been told over and over again by the Department of the Interior and the federal government that we are a sovereign nation and enjoy every entitlement that behooves someone with that standing."
That sovereign status leaves some wondering why the state would even attempt another lawsuit.
"They have their own rights, and I don't consider that any of the attorney general's business or anybody else but theirs," Jimmy Wilson said.
"It's an Indian nation, and they can make up their own rules as long as they aren't doing obvious harm to everyone else let them have it," Ken Carter said.
In his statement, Strange said, "My office will use every tool at its disposal to stop illegal gambling in Alabama wherever it is located. This lawsuit against the Poarch Band is one of those tools."
"We want to be good neighbors for the State of Alabama, if they'll continue to let us be," Martin said.
Talker: What are your thoughts on the lawsuit?
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