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but the tribal casinos take advantage of the fact that pape

Source:sites edit:casino time:2018-03-09

Alabama's Poarch Band of Creek Indians splashed into Pennsylvania's gaming scene in a big way with their announcement Thursday that they plan to spend $1.3 billion to buy the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem.

The Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem is king of table games in Pennsylvania, operating 230 tables and 3,000 slots machines. The casino brought in $539 million during the most recent fiscal year.

How does Alabama have casinos if they're illegal?

While the Bethlehem casino is one of the Sands' smallest holdings at 159,000-square feet, it would be one of Wind Creek's largest properties.

The tribe opened its first 1,500-seat high-stakes bingo hall in Escambia County back in 1985, a year after it obtained federal recognition. 

The Sands' killing at table games has made it Pennsylvania's top performing casino in terms of table games, usually just behind Parx Casino in Bucks County in terms of total revenue.

The tribe's ancestors lived along the Alabama River, in areas from Wetumpka south to the Tensaw settlement, according to the tribe.

Alabama greatly restricts gambling and table games are illegal, but the tribal casinos take advantage of the fact that paper bingo is allowed.

The Poarch Creek are descendants of a segment of the original Creek Nation, which once inhabited nearly all of Alabama and Georgia.

The tribe has long wanted to expand into blackjack and other table games as well as slot machines -- defined as Class III gaming under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Who are the Poarch Band of Creek Indians?

The state would then share in that revenue, something the Poarch Band has long been open to doing, according to AL.com, our sister site.

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The tribal Wind Creek casinos offer class II games, essentially electronic bingo on games that look very similar to slot machines with flashing lights and spinning reels, on tribal land. This means the tribe pays no taxes to the state, getting to pocket all of its profits.

Prior to a rumored sale to MGM last year, the casino had been pursuing a $90 million expansion that would've added a new gaming area with 1,000 new seats.

By Sara K. Satullo | For lehighvalleylive.com

Through Wind Creek Hospitality, the tribe manage three gaming halls in Alabama: Wind Creek Casino & Hotel in Atmore, Wind Creek Casino in Wetumpka and Wind Creek Casino in Montgomery.

Rick Smith | AP photo

The 3,000-member tribe is the only federally-recognized tribe in the state of Alabama, operating as a sovereign nation.

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