Governor Riley Urges House to Oppose Controversial Gambling Bill

MONTGOMERY – Governor Bob Riley has written members of the House of Representatives urging them to vote against the gambling bill that is at the center of an investigation being conducted by federal authorities.

The two-page letter is accompanied by a fact sheet that lays out the details of the gambling bill, Senate Bill 380, sponsored by Senator Roger Bedford.

It has been reported that federal investigators warned legislative leaders last week that there is “substantial evidence” of corruption surrounding this bill.

“From the beginning of this debate, I’ve said it’s not about gambling and it’s certainly not about bingo. It’s about corruption,” said Governor Riley. “I find it hard to believe anyone would support a bill that opens the floodgates to corruption in this state. Yet I’m very concerned that may happen, so I’m providing each House member with information so they will hopefully understand how truly corrupt this bill is.”

In his letter to House members, the Governor says the bill is “not the ‘simple bingo bill’ its supporters claim. It is a blank check that would legalize electronic gambling machines in Alabama and let the Legislature fill in the details later. The only thing ‘simple’ about this bill is the simple majority that it would empower to enact the gambling interests’ agenda.”

In his letter, Governor Riley points out a simple majority of the Senate has already voted for an earlier version of Senate Bill 380 that provided a no-bid casino monopoly to a handful of casino operators and gave casino operators criminal immunity from the state’s gambling laws.

“There’s no reason to believe that if this bill becomes law they won’t come back and vote again to provide casino operators who contribute to their campaigns with a no-bid monopoly,” said Governor Riley. “They’ve already done it once. If given the chance, they will do it again. I’m urging the House to stop this corrupt bill.

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