Does Alabama Have Casinos

Alabama might not be the first state you think of when you think of gambling and casinos. You probably do know that it’s the “Heart of Dixie,” though.

Alabama currently has five casinos but only one is near Mobile, however there are nine large casinos only an hours drive away in Biloxi Mississippi. This guide has reviews on the top casinos near Mobile AL. Also shown are the casino floor size in square feet and the miles from Mobile with drive time. The former Birmingham Turf Course - now a dog track. Its so sad to see this place knowing its history. When originally opened it was touted as a premiere horse racing venue that had the entire state excited. Now its a sad dirty dog track with little to offer in the way of entertainment. There are 4 gaming establishments in AL: the Wind Creek Casino & Hotel of Wetumpka, the Wind Creek Casino & Hotel of Atmore, the Wind Creek Casino & Hotel of Montgomery and the Victoryland Casino of Shorter. In total, the State features more than 10,000 slot machines and 15 gaming tables.

As it turns out, Alabama does have a casino scene, and in this post, I’m going to reveal some of the secrets about the Alabama casino scene you might not know about.

An Overview of the Alabama Casino and Gambling Scene

Alabama’s probably never going to compete with Nevada or even Oklahoma in terms of casinos, but the state does boast three Native American casinos and a racino with parimutuel betting. The only kind of gambling you can do at these casinos, though, is via Class II gambling machines.

You must be at least 21 years old to gamble in the casinos in Alabama. That’s the minimum age to play poker for real money, too. You must be 18 to play bingo or to participate in parimutuel wagers.

And, Alabama is one of the only six states in the Union without a state lottery.

It’s illegal for an individual to own a Class III slot machine, but individual collectors are allowed to legally own Class II slot machines.

Go figure.

Class II Slot Machines in Alabama and How They Work

What’s a Class II gambling machine?

A traditional slot machine has a random number generator that creates the outcomes on the screen in front of you. (If it’s an old-fashioned machine, the RNG generates the reel symbols on the reels.) Actual mechanical slot machines no longer operate in casinos anywhere in the United States that I know of.

Each slot machine has its own RNG. It’s just a computer program that thinks of thousands of numbers per second. When you hit the spin button or pull the lever, that program stops on whatever number it’s thinking of at that instant.

And each of those numbers corresponds to a combination of reel symbols. The payouts are based on how likely a specific set of reel symbols is to occur on a payline. The payout is always less than the probability of getting that result.

Here’s an example:

If you have a 1 in 5 probability of getting a specific combination, it’s probably going to pay off at even money or 2 for 1 instead of the 5 to 1 that would make it a break-even bet.

Those kinds of slot machines are called Class III slot machines. That’s a legal distinction because different states have different laws about what kinds of gambling are allowed and which aren’t.

Class II slot machines duplicate the visible action of a traditional slot machine but does so within the letter of the law. Class II gaming, basically, just refers to bingo games – whether they’re electronic or not.

When these laws were first passed, this led to a rise in how common bingo halls were in states where Indian gaming had become popular. Then someone realized that if you used a bingo algorithm to power the results on a game that looked like a slot machine, you could stay legal and make more money.

You can only tell the difference between a Class III slot machine and a Class II slot machine by the small LED bingo card on the front of the machine you’re playing. It lights up with a bingo pattern after every spin, but most people ignore it and focus on the reel symbols instead.

But what’s happening behind-the-scenes is that you’re playing an electronic bingo with at least one other player in a centralized computer system. The outcome of this electronic bingo game determines your payout on the “slot machine.”

Class II slot machine games offer basically the same odds as Class III slot machines, they just use a different mechanism to determine the outcomes. One of the best analogies is that Class II bingo resembles playing a scratch-and-win lottery ticket.

One thing to beware of, though – Class II “video poker” games aren’t really video poker at all. They don’t mimic the odds you’d find in a deck of cards, and the decisions you make during play are essentially meaningless.

And, since making meaningful decisions is the whole point to real money video poker, you can’t really justify playing Class II video poker games.

Victoryland Is the Largest Casino in Alabama

VictoryLand is more than just a casino. It also offers a race betting and a hotel. It’s located in Shorter, Alabama. The casino has an interesting history.

In 2010, they were forced to close their casino, restaurant, and hotel. A federal probe into “gambling improprieties” prompted the arrest of Victoryland’s owner, Milton McGregor, and 10 state senators and lobbyists. Charges included bribery, conspiracy, and honest services fraud.

In 2012, McGregor was acquitted of all charges, but Alabama’s Attorney General, Luther Strange, insisted that the electronic bingo machines on the site were illegal.

In 2013, the state seized over a quarter million dollars in cash and over 1500 gambling machines.

But in 2015, the courts found that it was unusual and inappropriate that the state’s Attorney General was only taking action against Victoryland and not the other Alabama land based casinos which were operating in the same manner.

The casino reopened (again) in 2016 with over 500 gambling machines.

Victoryland now has over 1000 gambling machines on its gaming floor, and the casino is open 24/7.

The Wind Creek Casinos Are the Other Casinos in Alabama

Besides Victoryland, you’ll find casino-style gambling at three other casinos in Alabama, all of which are named “Wind Creek Casino.” These include:

  • Wind Creek Casino & Hotel Atmore
  • Wind Creek Casino & Hotel Montgomery
  • Wind Creek Casinos & Hotel Wetumpka

The biggest of these is Wind Creek Casino & Hotel Wetumpka, which offers 2500+ gambling machines. They claim to offer the highest payouts in the Southeast on their website, but that sounds like marketing-speak to me. (The state of Alabama doesn’t require any of the casinos there to publish return-to-player percentages.)

Like most Vegas-style casinos, Wind Creek Casinos & Hotel Wetumpka has a robust set of promotions where they award players with rebates, free spins, cars, and travel.

Their rewards program is called Wind Creek Rewards. It’s not much different from any other slots club – you can earn “free” food, hotel stays, and concert tickets based on how much time and money you spend gambling there.

They also claim on their website that this is the “most generous” rewards program in the Southeast – more marketing-speak.

They also have a full-service hotel and a Starbucks on site as well as a spa.

Will Alabama Have a Lottery Soon, Too?

In March, 2020, one of Alabama’s legislator’s put forth a lottery bill. This new law would create a paper-based lottery. The plan is for the funds to go toward Alabama’s pre-kindergarten program and toward a college scholarship program. A tiny percentage of the funds would also be allocated toward problem gambling programs.

Why doesn’t Alabama have a lottery yet? You can blame the Poarch Band of Creek Indians who operate the casinos and racinos in the state. They don’t want competition for their gambling machines. There’s also constant legal wrangling about what is and isn’t legal as it relates to tribal gaming in the state.

The lottery bill will need 63 votes to pass, but it has at least 70 co-sponsors. It looks likely to pass if it ever comes up for a vote, but there’s no telling when that might be. At one time, they were anticipating a vote by the end of 2020, but that’s uncertain.

Conclusion

Alabama gambling is not exactly on the same level as a state like Nevada or even Oklahoma.

But if you want to gamble there, you can find gambling machines in a few locations operated by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. Or you can gamble at Victoryland.

You’re limited to Class II gambling machines at these locations, though – you can’t participate in any kind of table games at any of the gambling halls in Alabama.

But you can bet on dog races and horse races at the racino there.

What the impending lottery will do to the business model of these casinos is a question yet to be answered, but since 44 states – including many that have a lottery – offer both the lottery and casinos, I don’t think Alabama needs to worry about their casinos going bankrupt because of the lottery.

Alabama has 3 tribal casinos each with Class II gaming. They are Wind Creek Casinos in Montgomery, Wetumpka and Atmore, which are owned by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians of Alabama.

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News Headlines

Alabama releases gambling reportDecember 28, 2020

Does Orange Beach Alabama Have Casinos

- Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey's Study Group on Gambling Policy released its findings last week in an 876-page report. The report recommends legalization of five to seven casinos, a state lottery and sports betting... Read more Wind Creek casinos reopen June 8May 30, 2020 - Wind Creek casinos in Wetumpka, Atmore and Montgomery, Alabama will reopen to the public on June 8th. Crowds will be limited to one third capacity. Face masks, temperature checks and not smoking will be enforced... Read moreAlabama bill proposes lottery and Poarch Creeks casino planMarch 14, 2020 - A bill introduced this week in the Alabama Senate proposes both a state lottery and the Poarch Creek Indians' plan to add Vegas-style casino gaming and two new casinos... Read moreAlabama Governor wants fact-finding study on Poarch Creek Indians $1B gambling proposalFebruary 7, 2020 - During her State-of-the-State Address last week, Governor Ivey announced the launch of a fact-finding study into the Poarch Creek Indians proposal to expand.. Read morePoarch Creek Indians propose $1B gambling plan for AlabamaNovember 18, 2019 - The Poarch Creek Indians have launched a public awareness campaign to expand their casinos in the state, add Class III table games, sports betting, a state lottery.. Read more

Alabama Indian Casinos

Click the casino name for detailed information about the casino including games offered, restaurants, entertainment and hotels.

Does Alabama Have Casino Gambling

Wind Creek Casino & Hotel Montgomery (info)
1801 Eddie Tullis Drive
Montgomery, Alabama 36117
(888) 7SAY WIN
(334) 273-9003

Wind Creek Casino & Hotel Wetumpka (info)
100 River Oaks Drive
Wetumpka, Alabama 36092-3084
(866) WIND-360

Wind Creek Casino & Hotel (info)
303 Poarch Road
Atmore, Alabama 36502
(888) 7SAY WIN
251-446-4200

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The above casinos are owned by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians of Alabama and operated by PCI Gaming, the Gaming Authority of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

Poarch Band of Creek Indians
5811 Jack Springs Road
Atmore AL 36502
Phone Number: (251) 368-9136
Fax Number: (251) 368-1026

PCI Gaming
303 Poarch Road, Atmore, AL 36502
PO Box 1027, Atmore, AL 36504
Phone: (251) 368-3085
Fax: (251) 446-938

News Articles

Alabama releases gambling report

December 28, 2020

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey's Study Group on Gambling Policy released its findings last week in an 876-page report. The report recommends legalization of five to seven casinos, a state lottery and sports betting.

Governor's group: Alabama could see $700 million from gambling - Courtesy of WVTM 13 News, Dec 18, 2020. Available from YouTube

The Study Group on Gambling Policy Report recommends:

  • Legalization of five to seven casinos with Vegas-style casino gaming. Potential locations were excluded from the report. Estimated tax revenue is $300-$400 million per year.

  • Legalization of a state lottery. Estimated state revenue is $200-$300 million per year.

  • Legalization of sports betting. Estimate state revenue is $10 million per year.

'Gambling will work in Alabama and we feel that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages,' said Todd Strange, the chairman of the study group.

Preschool bingo. Last year, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians proposed a plan to pay the state $1 billion to add Vegas-style casino gaming (Class III) to its Wind Creek Casinos in Atmore, Montgomery and Wetumpka. In addition the Tribe would build two new Class III casino in North Alabama.

Back Full Page >Alabama Casinos Updates 2021

Wind Creek casinos reopen June 8

May 30, 2020

Wind Creek casinos in Wetumpka, Atmore and Montgomery, Alabama will reopen to the public on June 8th. Crowds will be limited to one third capacity. Face masks, temperature checks and not smoking will be enforced.

Video courtesy of CBS 42.

Video courtesy of WKRG.

Each casino will operate four gaming sessions every day. At the end of each session the casino will be deep cleaned before the next session. Guests can make advance reservations for specific sessions beginning June 3. Whenever a casino reaches its occupancy limit, newly-arriving guests must wait in special areas until there is availability inside.

Hotels will also restrict the number of guest. Hotel occupancy will be limited to 50 percent so that room can remain unoccupied for 24 hours before deep cleaning.

Back Full Page >Alabama Casinos Updates 2021

Alabama bill proposes lottery and Poarch Creeks casino plan

March 14, 2020

A bill introduced this week in the Alabama Senate proposes both a state lottery and the Poarch Creek Indians' plan to add Vegas-style casino gaming and two new casinos. Senator Greg Albritton (R- Atmore) explains his bill puts these issues into legislative form as a first step in the process towards amending the state constitution, which currently prohibits any type of gambling.

The Poarch Creek Indians have publically promoted their gambling plan to generate $1 billion in state revenues. The tribe would pay the state $225 million for exclusive casino rights across the state, pay a percentage of revenues at the three existing casinos, and build two commercial casino resorts that will pay 25% taxes on revenues.

For details on the Poarch Creek Indians gambling plan, see the Press Release.

Sen. Albritton hopes his bill will progress through the legislative process in time for voter approval in November's election. He believes it would be helpful to Gov. Ivey's Study Group on Gambling Policy for consideration and inclusion in their report.

Back Full Page >Alabama Casinos Updates 2021

Alabama Governor wants fact-finding study on Poarch Creek Indians $1B gambling proposal

February 7, 2020

During her State-of-the-State Address last week, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey announced plans to set up a study group to gather facts on the impact of a lottery and the expansion of Poarch Creek Indians casinos on the state. The governor wants the findings by the end of the year.

She explained, 'That's all I want is the facts, not recommendations. I just want the facts about how much money the state can expect to gain if we just do a lottery or if we do expanded gaming or if we do a compact and what the heck does a compact look like? What are the components of a compact? What are the responsibilities of both parties? We don't know.'

Last November the Poarch Creek Indians proposed a $1 billion gambling plan for Alabama. It included a $225 million payment to the state for an exclusive compact for all casino gaming, two new resort casinos in the state, Class III table games and sports betting, licensing fees and revenue sharing payments to the state, and support of a paper state lottery.

For details about the Poarch Creek Indians proposal, read the Press Release.

The Poarch Creek Indians are the only federally-recognized tribe in Alabama. The tribe currently own and operate three casinos in the state: Wind Creek Casino and Hotel Wetumpka , Wind Creek Casino and Hotel Atmore and Wind Creek Casino and Hotel Montgomery.

In addition the Poarch Band of Creek Indians own and operate Wind Creek Bethlehem in Pennsylvania, the Pensacola Greyhound Park and Creek Entertainment Gretna in Florida and the Renaissance Hotels in Aruba and Curacao. The tribe also financed and operates the Wa She Shu Casino in Gardnerville, Nevada, owned by the Washoe Tribe.

Back Full Page >Alabama Casinos Updates 2021

Poarch Creek Indians propose $1B gambling plan for Alabama

November 18, 2019

In a press release this week the Poarch Band of Creek Indians announced their new public awareness campaign to promote a major expansion of gambling in Alabama. The goal is to generate billions of dollars in new state revenues and create thousands of new jobs.

SUMMARY OF PLAN

Alabama
  • The Poarch Band of Creek Indians would pay Alabama $225 million for an exclusive compact for all casino gaming in the state.

  • The Tribe would build two new resort casinos in the state.

  • Alabama would authorize Class III table games (blackjack, craps and roulette) and sports betting to be operated by the Tribe.

  • Alabama would receive licensing fees and revenue sharing from all new casino properties.

  • The Tribe supports a paper state lottery.

The following is the full press release from the Poarch Band of Creek Indians:

PRESS RELEASE

Poarch Band of Creek Indians Comprehensive Plan for Alabama Gaming to Bring in Immediate $Billion, $Millions More to Follow

NEWS PROVIDED BY
Poarch Band of Creek Indians
Nov 12, 2019, 12:05 ET

Public Awareness Campaign Outlines Plan's Details

POARCH CREEK INDIAN RESERVATION, Ala., Nov. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Poarch Band of Creek Indians today announced a public awareness campaign focused on communicating details of their comprehensive plan for gaming in Alabama.

Poarch's solid plan is designed to generate billions of dollars in new revenues to the State, create thousands of new jobs, and regulate and tax gaming interests. It also calls for the construction of two deluxe tourist resorts in the northern part of the State, and supports citizens' rights to vote on gaming issues, including whether Alabama should also have the kind of traditional lottery that other neighboring states have in place.

'We have long believed that the economic power of gaming should be strategically harnessed to create opportunities for everyone who lives in Alabama,' noted Stephanie Bryan, Poarch Tribal Chair and CEO. 'This plan does that, and we are committed to making sure that our positions on gaming and our commitment to helping improve the quality of life in Alabama are clear.'

In recent weeks, the Tribe and its gaming business (PBCI Gaming) have been the subject of a public misinformation campaign funded by an anonymous group. The sole purpose of that group's work was to misrepresent the Tribe's position on gaming in the State, confuse the issues surrounding gaming regulation and taxation, and damage Poarch's reputation.

Map Of Casinos In Alabama

By contrast, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians made the decision to state publicly what they propose in the way of a solid, comprehensive plan for gaming in the State through a public awareness campaign that includes a gaming policy-focused website www.winningforalabama.com. The website gives citizens a platform to voice their opinions on specific gaming issues. It also provides opportunities for communities across Alabama to alert the Tribe and other State leaders about their critical needs.

'We hope that the information we are making available will prompt both citizens and our State's legislators to seriously consider a solid plan for gaming that can have real economic benefits for Alabama,' said Chairwoman Bryan. 'We believe that it is important everyone in the State has access to honest information and constructive ideas so they can make the best decisions about an issue that is critically important to Alabama's economic well-being and quality of life.'

SOURCE Poarch Band of Creek Indians
www.poarchcreekindians.org

Back Full Page >Alabama Casinos Updates 2021


News Headlines Continued

11.17.2016 Alabama May Receive Percentage of Casino Profits09.13.2016 Victoryland Reopens08.10.2016 AL Casinos Needed to Balance Budget01.19.2016 Wind Creek Casino Voted 'Best to Work For'12.19.2015 Bok Homa Casino Celebrates 5 Years12.01.2015 $65 Expansion Opens at Wind Creek Montgomery09.04.2015 Poarch Band of Creek Indians Allowed to Remain Open05.28.2015 Time for Alabama Gaming Bill About to Expire05.17.2015 Gaming Bill Approved by AL Senate committee05.05.2015 Alabama Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh to Introduce Gaming Bill02.11.2015 Possible Expanded Gaming Unlikely in Alabama01.07.2015 Creek Casino Montgomery Opens New Restaurant12.08.2014 Two Contractor Companies Chosen for Creek Casino Montgomery10.21.2014 Creek Casino Montgomery To Have $68 Million Improvement04.16.2014 Judge Rules in Favor of Poarch Band of Creek Indians Gaming04.16.2014 New Wind Creek Casino to Open Dec 1712.17.2013 Possible New Casino for Montgomery City11.08.2013 MOWA Band of Choctaw Install 50 Gaming Machines10.02.2013 Poarch Creek Indian Casino Prepares to Hire08.26.2013 New Judge appointed in Case against VictoryLand Casino04.15.2013 Lawsuit to Stop Poarch Band Casinos08.30.2012 Hiring to begin at Victoryland07.11.2012 Wind Creek Wetumpka opening in 201308.10.2010 Victoryland closes temporarily pending court fight03.09.2010 VictoryLand reopens after judge blocks raid02.04.2010 Wind Creek celebrates first year02.03.2010 VictoryLand and White Hall casinos temporarily shut down12.07.2009 Casinos reopen in Alabama 11.03.2009 VictoryLand opens 300-room hotel10.26.2009 Judge rules all electronic bingo gambling halls closed04.02.2009 Sweet Home Alabama Bill - Questions and Answers04.01.2009 Bill may legalize electronic bingo02.21.2009 Upscale bingo set for key07.28.2008 $260 million Wind Creek Casino and Resort is rising at Atmore04.10.2008 Alabama sues Fed to block Indian gambling expansion12.24.2007 Wind Creek Casino Hotel and Resort (2009)


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