Alabama officials have filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court challenging the authority of the U.S. Department of the Interior to permit video gaming machines in gaming halls operated by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians on tribal lands.
The tribe has sought video gaming under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, since the video machines are currently legal at racetracks and off-track betting parlors. Tribal officials appealed to the Department of the Interior after attempting to negotiate a compact with the state.
Interior Department officials said they were going to permit the tribe to install the machines under IGRA. (The agency refused to order implementation of another request from the tribe for permission to run poker and other card games.)
“The Department of the Interior’s recent actions represent a complete disregard for fundamental principles of states’ rights and an arrogant lack of respect for the people of Alabama,” Alabama Attorney General Troy King said in a statement after filing the lawsuit. “Federal bureaucrats simply lack the authority to override the will of the people of Alabama by allowing casino gambling to invade our state. I will not stand idly by and allow them to do so.”