Electronic Bingo Bill Likely to Surface in Legislature

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - An old contentious issue - gambling - may resurface in the Alabama Legislature as a way to pay for medical services for the poor and elderly.

Representative Marcel Black says he expects to introduce a bill to legalize high-stake electronic bingo games at greyhound race tracks in Birmingham and Mobile. Tax revenue would go to Alabama's cash-strapped Medicaid Agency.

Black is a Democrat from Tuscumbia.

Medicaid officials have said they need $150 million more than last year's budget to fund the agency in the next fiscal year. Lawmakers have said they may have to cut spending for other agencies in the budget.

If introduced, the electronic bingo bill is expected to generate heated opposition from gambling opponents.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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