The Poarch Band of Creek Indians is made up of descendants of a segment of the original Creek Nation who once covered almost all of Alabama and Georgia. Unlike many southeastern Indian tribes, the Poarch Creeks were not removed from their tribal lands and have lived together for over 150 years near Atmore, Alabama.
In the early 1980s, the Poarch Creeks petitioned the United States government to recognize a government-to-government relationship, allowing them to operate as a sovereign nation with its own administration and system of bylaws. Their request was answered on August 11, 1984, when they became the only federally recognized tribe in the state of Alabama.
On April 13, 1985, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians opened a 1,500-seat high-stakes bingo hall in rural Escambia County, Alabama. Creek Bingo Palace immediately created 130 jobs in the small town of Atmore. It also set the Poarch Band on a path towards self-sufficiency and improving socio-economic standards.
In summing up the impact gaming has had for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, former Tribal Chairman Buford L. Rolin states: “It has provided our rural community with jobs — both for our Tribal members and for our neighbors. It has allowed us to add to our community’s tax base, and it has provided us opportunities to educate our children, build housing and medical clinics, and improve the lives of our elderly. Our gaming business has also provided us with capital that we have used to start other businesses.”
Today, Wind Creek Hospitality, as the tribe’s principal gaming and hospitality entity, generates a sustainable revenue stream to support governmental services that contribute to the health and well-being of the Tribe. A five-member Board of Directors oversees Wind Creek Hospitality and reports directly to the nine-member Tribal Council.