Both Sides Speak Out Against Electronic Gaming in Alabama

By: Rhiana Huckins Email
By: Rhiana Huckins Email
Last week the 2010 Alabama legislative session began and there are already several bills on the table relating to the legality of electronic bingo in the state

Gaming machine seized during raid at Adriana’s Tienda Mexicana in Morristown.

Representative Marcel black is supporting a bill that would allow private gaming facilities to operate like Indian gaming operations.

As you can imagine people from both sides of the bingo issue have their opinions on whether or not this is a good idea.

Currently, more than 1 thousand people are employed at country crossing in Houston County but some argue that job growth stemming from electronic bingo will be short-lived.

"Each machine costs 2 to 3 jobs because the money that would be invested in cars, washing machines, houses, and groceries are taken out. This does not create jobs" says Tom Anderson, representing the new group, Concerned Wiregrass Citizens.

Arguments have broken out in courtrooms across the state in the past year and those in favor of business growth from electronic gaming want to see clarity in Alabama state laws.

"It's an absolute necessity, especially with the governor's actions. He is absolutely unequivocally trying to create a monopoly for the Indians in Alabama. Should he prevail in his quest to close our facility down along with other private entities he will have then created a monopoly." Says Ronnie Gilley, Creator of Country Crossing

There is a bill put before the House of Representatives defining bingo under federal law- which would allow private businesses to function just like Indian operations.

Some religious opponents of gambling in Alabama would like to see electronic bingo banished from the state all together, but if all private bingo operations were shut down, the Indian casinos would-under federal law--remain open.

“We are waiting on the ruling of the supreme court that Bob Riley has put before them. The Supreme Court has already ruled one time, but we are going to attack it where we live and how we live" said Anderson.

"I respect their Christian beliefs if they are true and heartfelt. If they are doing it to garner a vote, you cannot legislate morals. There is a separation between government and church" says Gilley.

You may remember last year, we reported that the Alabama Christian coalition backed off its initial opposition of electronic bingo and now would like to see a vote on the gambling issue.

Members hope that by clarifying, regulating, and taxing gaming, electronic bingo will be limited.

Meanwhile Representative John Rogers of Birmingham is proposing 2 separate bills-one to establish a gaming commission and the other to authorize casino gaming in cities with a population of 100,000 or more.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by JW Location: Cowarts on Jan 21, 2010 at 05:00 PM
    Liz, while you're entitled to your opinion, if all Christians only stayed inside the church, WHO would do God's work? We are told to go out into ALL the world and be disciples of Christ. We're not supposed to sit back and only pray. If all Christians stayed inside the church, who would go into other countries and be missionaries? Just think about it, true Christians do good things because God led them to. Although you might not agree with their stand on Country Crossings, at least they are standing up for something they believe in. Yes, sometimes SOME "Christian" groups are against strange things, for example the airplane thing, but this is something different. Country Crossings will make an impact on people's lives, and it might not always be a good one.
  • by cc Location: Hartford on Jan 20, 2010 at 12:23 PM
    Stupid question !!! Are ALL those who work at CC employed ONLY by the bingo hall ????? And......even if they were, at least they're working and trying to feed and clothe their family. Why aren't folks yelling about state run liquor stores and reminding us how alcohol addicts and kills. And, don't forget to shut down the immoral clubs and hookers. I don't gamble in any form(at least I don't think so), but that's a choice an individual has to make, just as they do with the most important choice of their life, which is whether to accept the Lord Jesus Christ and live, or reject Him and die.
  • by JH Location: Dothan on Jan 19, 2010 at 01:54 PM
    Dear Mike, do you actually think that you don't need the extra revenue in this state for the school system? Alabama ranks very near the bottom nationally in terms of "smart" states. The lottery and any other form of revenue is needed down here to try and catch up to the rest of the country. Think I'm kidding? Check out the post from "against ronnie gilley" below - i.e., "How come....then why ain't...." I assume this was once a child in the Alabama school system.
  • by brenda Location: chipley on Jan 19, 2010 at 01:27 PM
    we have true electronic bingo mechines in florida, if we can get the governor to take one with him tomorrow it would solve the mistery. call roy bingo supply in pencicola, or southern bingo supply in jacksonville, they will be glad to demonstrate.
  • by LIZ Location: ENTERPRISE on Jan 19, 2010 at 12:21 PM
    CHURCH LEADERS STAY OUT Please do God's work in God's house. Act like a Christain, God would want you to pray for everyone to be wise in everything they do. The power of prayer helps more than you standing on capitol steps making speeches. Did you pay all the unemployeed their lost salary and benifits and future salary? Did not see you or state leaders finding jobs for people in the wiregrass. People will go to Fl. Ga. Ms. indian casinos, their choice to spend their money, so why not help Alabama economy. Act like a Christain and just do God's work in God's house and pray for everyone according to God's will, unless you are on the money take too. It is not a sin to play electronic bingo but is a sin to lie. WRIGHT BROS. AIRPLANE- church leaders tried to stop them from building the airplane Bible says only angels and birds have wings.LAWMAKERS 21st century, make it legal, dictionary- gambling is money giving when out come is uncertain,campain money,raffle tickets,paper bingo.
  • by Mike Location: enterprise on Jan 19, 2010 at 12:10 PM
    Well Both sides are right! We certainly don't want or need any revenue from any other states here in alabama. We don't need any money for our school system, like the evil lottery does in Fl/Ga our kids are smart on their own. We need to wake up and get with the 21st Century. Let's get a Goverment in here that is out for us as a state, and put ideals aside for awhile.
  • by Walter Location: Ozark on Jan 18, 2010 at 08:06 PM
    These people are so full of it, Electronics games do more good for this area than the Governor has in 8 yrs. Nobody foregoes cars and washing machines, I lived in areas where electronics gaming is legal and I don't see anybody trying to vote them out. Millions are going to Florida, Georgia and Mississippi, while they sit back and laugh at us while counting our money.
  • by against ronnie gilley Location: al on Jan 18, 2010 at 07:48 PM
    How come if its been declared illegal then why ain't somebody going to jail? if your gambling across the state line is it considered racketeering?
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