By: Press Release
By: Press Release

In response to a recent move by the Alabama Baptist State Convention, Alabama Citizens Action Program (ALCAP) Executive Director Joe Godfrey, along with more than 60 Baptist pastors, held a press conference on Wednesday to state their opposition to casino gambling and call on the Attorney General and district attorneys to enforce the state's laws pertaining to gambling.

On Tuesday, the Alabama Baptist State Convention passed a resolution condemning so-called electronic bingo gambling and praising Governor Bob Riley for his efforts to stop illegal gambling in Alabama.

Last Friday, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that only the traditional game of bingo is allowed under Alabama law, not bingo played on a slot machine.

“We oppose casino gambling, including electronic slot machines, because it is predatory in nature, playing on the weaknesses of the state's citizens,” Godfrey said. “Legalized gambling causes social and economic damage to communities and families and should not be allowed into Alabama.

“The time for foot dragging is over,” he said. “Our Supreme Court has issued an opinion setting forth in great detail what constitutes a legal game of ‘bingo’ and not one of the so-called electronic bingo machines currently being operated in this state can qualify under the court’s definition. Any attempt to delay the application of this ruling would only allow organized gambling to do more social and economic damage in Alabama communities.”

Godfrey commended Gov. Riley “for recognizing the harmful effects of gambling and for taking steps to rid our state of this evil.”

“Now we call on Alabama's Attorney General and district attorneys throughout the state to enforce the law, as it has been interpreted by the Alabama Supreme Court, and shut down the illegal casinos, ridding our state of bingo slots once and for all!”

Godfrey warned that serious pressure would be coming during the 2010 Alabama legislative session to pass new laws legalizing some form of electronic gambling.

This may come in a push for a statewide up or down vote on the issue.

“The gambling industry will be pushing our legislators for a vote,” he said. “They have zillions of dollars to spend on ads promoting gambling, while the opposition will be churches that will have to pull money from missions and ministry funds to fight the effort.”

Godfrey urged citizens to contact their legislators and ask them to vote down any gambling bills.

This issue is also going to be a concern in the 2010 election cycle, Godfrey noted. The gambling industry has a lot of money to spend there as well, so citizens need to be vocal now about their concerns.

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  • by CYNTHIA Location: ENTERPRISE on Nov 20, 2009 at 02:54 PM
    I wonder if any of these fine Baptist have ever bought a lottery ticket or a chance on a car from the Shriners. Guess what, that's gambling. By the way,I'm Baptist.
  • by enterprise on Nov 19, 2009 at 05:01 PM
    Good Grief!! There are alot of churches that go to Biloxi in buses to go to the casinos. How many of them go to Georgia to play the lotto. This is the 21st century. Look how Georgia and other states support their schools from the lotto? The churches need to step back and think of the times when there was gambling going on during Adam and Eve. Think positive we already have enough negativity in our lives. There is corruption every where; not just at the casino's. Quit being so stuffed shirt. If the world had to live around your standards, life would be very boring. Get a life!!!!!!!!!!! I am sure there is gambling in heaven! I agree, if you don't want to gamble, stay out of the casino's. Life is a gamble. Why ruin the opportunity for everyone else. I respect your wishes, but you cannot have your way all the time. Do you want some cheese with that whine? Be more open minded instead of closed minded. What about horse races, poker, car races etc. That all involves money.
  • by zoe Location: Enterprise on Nov 19, 2009 at 01:10 PM
    The good Baptist need to stay out of the gambling debate who are they to dictate to everyone how we need to live and what we need and do not need. If they think they are stopping people from gambling they are sadly mistaken they are just going to other states and supplying them with more money if you don't want to gamble stay out of the casino's. The revenue that country crossing is going to bring to this area is so badly needed, we are one of the poorest states. What about all the jobs that they are supplying to this area, my daughter will be working there and will be able to support my granddaughter with no welfare the bingo machines are not the problem its all the crooked politicians.
  • by RICHARD Location: ENTERPRISE on Nov 19, 2009 at 11:14 AM
  • by Billie Location: Walker County on Nov 18, 2009 at 04:24 PM
    What about separation between Church and State? Why do the good Baptists not stay out of this issue or else pass a resolution saying they will take care of all the people out of work. I think they are OUT OF LINE and should butt out. Let their parishioners take care of it and stop telling people what they should do. The way I understand it is that there is only one Judge and it "sure isn't them"! I am not a proponent of bingo or any other gambling but I certainly don't want to be found guilty before the BIG Judge of judging everyone else. If I do want to play bingo I want to have the freedom to do it. So, please shut up and stay in your churches. Thank you immensely.
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