A recently-filed lawsuit that accuses Alabama State Senator Del Marsh (R-12th) of taking kickbacks from a tribal casino operator in return for pursuing gambling expansion legislation is nothing more than ‘a flat-out lie,’ the Republican senator said.
Senator Marsh’s proposed gambling expansion bill aims to create five new commercial casinos in addition to allow the Poarch Band of Creek Indians to upgrade to Class III gambling facilities.
Just a day before the gambling expansion bill was scheduled to be discussed on the Senate floor, a lawsuit was filed by a Greene County-based group of charities that are reportedly dependent on charitable bingo for fundraising. The lawsuit alleges that the Poarch Band of Creek Indians bribed Sen. Marsh for advancing the bill to allow it to capitalize on the lucrative Class III gaming.
Filed on last Monday in the Montgomery County Circuit Court, the suit also alleges that the bill aims to handing the only federally-recognized tribe of the state with an illegal gaming monopoly.
When contacted and asked for a comment on the legal action, Sen. Marsh said the ‘pay to play’ scheme allegation made by the Poarch Creeks was just a flat-out lie.
Arguing against the tribe’s allegations, the Republican senator said, “I’ve never, ever insinuated to anyone that I will cast a vote for money. The sole purpose of this frivolous lawsuit is to block the people of Alabama from having a chance to vote on a lottery and gaming.”
The Poarch Band’s Director of Governmental Affairs & Public Relations, Robert McGhee, also refuted the allegation. Calling the allegation “unfounded,” he said that it very unfortunate that some people wanted to attack Sen. Marsh and the tribe with “nonsense” accusations.
It is worth-mentioning here that the bill wouldn’t offer the federally-recognized tribe a monopoly in Class III gaming as it would also create five new commercial casinos at five different locations, viz. the Birmingham Race Course, Victoryland in Macon County, Greenetrack in Greene County, the Mobile Greyhound Racing facility, plus an additional off-reservation Poarch Creek Casino in Dekalb County.
In Alabama, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians is the only federally-recognized tribe. Currently, it operates three Class II gaming properties that don’t offer slot machines. These gaming facilities are currently allowed to offer only slot machine-like electronic bingo games. Sen. Marsh’s proposed bill aims to transform these tribal gaming properties into full-scale Class III casinos equipped with slots and table games.