MONTGOMERY – Governor Bob Riley issued a statement on Thursday about the gambling bill sponsored by Senator Roger Bedford that the Senate approved earlier this week. Although people have been led to believe this proposal lets the people vote on whether gambling will be legal in Alabama, that’s not the case. The Governor’s statement follows:
“Since the Senate vote, I’ve talked to a number of House members who’ve told me they want the people to have an up-or-down vote on gambling. But that’s not what the people get with Roger Bedford’s bill.
“Supporters of that bill have led people to believe this lets the people vote on whether or not we’ll have gambling in Alabama. That’s a lie. This is a stacked deck against the people no matter how they vote. It’s rigged so the casinos can’t lose.
“This is not an up-or-down vote on gambling. And if that’s what the people want -- an up-or-down vote -- that’s not what they’ll get under Roger Bedford’s bill.
“That’s not what this bill does. It’s not a straight up-or-down vote. If the people vote yes, the casinos get the bailout they want. If the people vote no, the situation we have today continues.
“Nothing in this bill stops the illegal gambling that’s going on now, even if the people vote no.
“There’s an old saying: ‘Heads I win, tails you lose.’ That’s exactly what this bill is like.”