Native tribes operate casinos in most U.S. states. Compacts have been devised to clarify local revenue-sharing with the government. But Alabama is apparently without such an agreement.
The “Heart of Dixie” allows the Poarch Band of Creek Indians to retain all gambling revenue. But sadly, a political action committee (PAC) isn’t happy with the arrangement and seeks a change. Interestingly, its dark past could come back to haunt it.
Poarch Creek Accountability Now wants to force Poarch Creek to pay its share upon legalizing casinos in the state. Now the tribe would have to pay taxes. The group feels that it has too much influence on state officials and does nothing for Alabama’s infrastructure.
Who will win the battle?
It won’t help the tribe that Senator Gerald dial is leading the charge.
According to him, the goal is to hold the Poarch Creek accountable. They should not be using millions and millions of untaxed dollars to influence government in this state.
“…So the money that should be going to educate our children and build our roads is building other people’s roads and educating other people’s children.”
The federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act is responsible, however. It had enacted a policy to allow Class II gaming operations, not casino games, on their own land. No state permission is required.
This means that if PCAN were successful in getting casinos legalized in the state, the tribe still wouldn’t be obligated to fork over state taxes.
Speaking of influencing government, PACs are just the entities to do it. It speaks of hypocrisy since such groups have no accountability. PCAN will not offer up details as to its source of funding. It may well be a “dark money” group. Dial doesn’t care, stating
“This organization is being funded by people willing to make contributions, but they’re not willing to be disclosed as they don’t want the repercussions from supporting this organization.”
Of note, PCAN is a 501(c)(4) charitable group, organized to deal with social welfare organizations. That said, donations are tax-deductible, with certain exclusions per the IRS.
In reality, this class of charitable group may engage in some political activities, as long as this is not its primary activity. A PAC looking to change laws has misconstrued its purpose.