Poarch Call On Florida Governor To Negotiate Compact

The Poarch Band has written Governor Rick Scott (l.) a letter in the hopes they can meet with Scott to discuss a Class III gaming compact.

Governor Rick Scott of Florida has been requested by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians to negotiate to allow for table gaming in Escambia County, which is in northern Florida. The band owns a one-acre parcel there that is tribal land under the federal Indian gaming act. The band would like to meet with Scott as soon as possible.

The land is located close to the Alabama state line and part of a 1984 trust. The tribe wants to offer table gaming, which falls under Class III gaming regulations. The Poarch operate Wind Creek Hotel & Casino in Atmore, Ala., and offer electronic Bingo, a Class II game.

Although the Poarch are already authorized under federal law to offer Class II games in Florida, the tribe wants to expand and facilitate Class III games, according to Jay Dorris who heads the band’s gaming authority. Dorris said the band sees opportunity and a compact would have revenue sharing provisions.

Scott is currently negotiating with the Seminole tribe, which owns casino properties in Florida. The decision to negotiate a compact with the Poarch is up to Scott, who agreed to meet with the tribe. A compact would need the approval of the Florida legislature and U.S. Department of Interior. 

The Poarch tribe holds a controlling interest in Pensacola’s track and near Tallahassee.