A Christian organization is calling for a public vote on gambling in Alabama.
While they remain morally opposed to the practice, The Christian Coalition of Alabama says it's time for the people to decide.
The CCA sent a letter to every Alabama lawmaker, calling for a statewide vote on gambling.
They believe Alabama residents are tired of hearing about the numerous court cases being fought across the state and deserve a clear-cut explanation when it comes to gambling.
The Christian Coalition of Alabama wants to put the gaming issue to rest, once and for all.
“First of all, I think everyone will agree both sides will agree that way too much energy and expenditure of resources has been address to this issue,” said Chairman of the Coalition Dr. Randy Brinson
They’re calling for a statewide vote and believe taxing and regulating gambling is the only way to stop it from spreading.
“Personally we feel like the only way to deal with this is to have a referendum to decide whether exactly gambling is going to be legal or not and secondly if it is, how are we going to tax and regulate and keep it to only certain locales,” said Dr. Brinson.
“We’re very excited and happy that the CCA decided to embrace a public vote for gaming in the state,” said Director of Communications for Ronnie Gilley Properties Doug Rainer.
Country Crossing officials agree; let the people decide.
“A few politicians don't need to make our decisions for us,” added Rainer.
But some politicians say a statewide vote, may not be the best option.
“The reality of trying to get something like that through i think would be difficult. An up or down vote would be ideal but I don’t even know that that's necessary,” said State Representative Benjamin Lewis.
Representative Lewis believes as long as establishments like Country Crossing play by the rules, maybe a vote isn't the way to go.
“So I don’t know if there is a need for a statewide vote if you will if the machines they are going to have is legal and everything that they’ve said indicates that they are,” said Rep. Lewis.
Country Crossing officials say they are all for the CCA’s call for a vote.
“We don’t necessarily feel any kind of victory we just feel relieved that a big organization one as important and prominent as the CCA is taking a long look, not letting politics play into their decisions. The people's choice that's what important,” said Rainer.
The Christian Coalition says another reason they're calling for a vote is to keep Native Americans from running a monopoly in the gaming industry in the state.
Representative Lewis says he is personally against gambling based on moral grounds, but he is 100% in support of Country Crossing coming to Houston county.
Country Crossing is scheduled to open December 1st and their bingo operation should be in place by mid-December.
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