Located in the heart of the Bible belt, Alabama is a conservative state that has been slow to permit gambling. Even though today Alabama is one of five states that does not have a state lottery, there are a few casinos, thanks to the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.
Alabama has a long history of being a conservative state. Located in the Bible belt, the state has been resistant to legalize gambling. However, changes came to the state in the mid 1980's when the Poarch Band of Creek Indians became the only federally recognized tribe in the state of Alabama. With that recognition by the United States government, the tribe was able to open an electronic bingo hall in Escambia County on April 13, 1985.
Fast forward to 2017 and the Poarch Band Creek of Indians now operates three casinos in Alabama - one in Wetumpka, one in Montgomery, and one in Atmore. While technically the games are electronic bingo machines, they have the look and feel of slot machines that you find in the likes of Las Vegas or Biloxi.
Windcreek operates as a Class II gaming facility. (Alabama is among four states that are limited to Class II gaming only. The other three states are Alaska, Nebraska, and Texas.)
As such, the casino is only able to have gaming machines that are bingo-based or pull tab-based technology. So if you like popular gambling games like Craps, Blackjack, or Baccarat, you're out of luck. Those are Class III games and they are prohibited in the State of Alabama.
There are over 2,000 machines in the Montgomery location with denominations ranging from one cent to $100. There is even a separate High Limits room for those willing to take larger risks.
The Windcreek Casino website has a calendar of promotional events, like Military Appreciation Day where active and retired military receive $10 FREE Play by signing into their Rewards account at the casino. They also earn 50 tier-points and get an additional $10 FREE Play.
Wind Creek Rewards
Just like the casinos in Las Vegas, Wind Creek has its own rewards program that is based on the player's play and preferences.
Rewards points are redeemable at the Montgomery casino as well as other Wind Creek properties including their Caribbean resorts, the Renaissance Aruba and the Renaissance Curaçao.
Players get one tier-point for every $5 played on any slot or electronic bingo machine. The benefits are based on a calendar year of play.
Inside Wind Creek Resort in Montgomery
I had the opportunity to spend a night at one of the casinos attached hotels and chose to check out the Montgomery location while I was en route to Panama City. (Both the Montgomery and Wetumpka casinos are midway between North Alabama and the beaches of South Alabama.) Like all other casinos that I have visited, pictures are not permitted of the machines, but I was able to get some snapshots of the hotel.
The Wind Creek Montgomery hotel is adjacent to the casino. (If you bring your children with you, be sure that you enter the main doors of the hotel and not the casino. Children are not allowed on the casino floor.) As you walk in the entrance, the sounds and action of the game floor to the right will beckon you to come over. Straight ahead of you is BB King's Blues Club - a great place to sink your teeth into some delicious entrees like Yazoo Catfish Creole or a Shrimp Po Boy. To your left is the way to check-in with a shoe shine station and a store to spend your winnings to the right.
When you check-in, you will be offered a selection of different spa toiletries to choose from for your room. The rooms at Wind Creek Montgomery are clean and modern and there are fun faux fur pillows on the beds.
The bathrooms are spacious and have a large glassed-in shower.
The hotel has a "rooftop" pool with plenty of places to sit and soak up the sun during the day.
Nearby the pool is a small fitness center.
There is also a small business center near the lobby.
While the hotel is nice, the real reason most of us are going to go to Wind Creek Montgomery is for the action. Having been to casinos in Biloxi, Tunica, and Las Vegas, I would rate the action at Wind Creek Montgomery to be towards the top of my list. I hit the slot machines both in the evening and in the morning. I recommend that you keep your game time limited to the evening when there are a lot of others playing.
When I played in the evening, I was able to play quarter slots for about an hour with $40. (You may or may not have the same luck as I did.) When I played in the morning, I lost $20 in 5-10 minutes. Odds are always in favor of the house, so never gamble more than you are willing to lose.
While playing, take a break and take advantage of the free drinks. There are a couple of drink stations where you can help yourself to soda and coffee. Walk around and get a good look at the machines and see which one appeals most to you before playing.
With the three Wind Creek casino properties, it's only a few hours drive to Las Vegas-style fun in the Heart of Dixie.