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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Governor's office responds to delay in bingo vote

A spokesman for Gov. Bob Riley said the Legislature has wasted most of its session "obsessing" over a gambling bill that does not give people an up or down vote, but "now we learn they're going to spend even more time on it."
Leadership in the Alabama House of Representatives has indicated the body will not vote today on the bill that would tax and regulate gambling and will put it off until next week.
"Delaying this vote until next week does nothing but give casino lobbyists extra time to influence lawmakers," said Jeff Emerson, Riley's communications director. "We've all seen reports of legislators saying they were offered contributions in exchange for their votes on this bill, so giving lobbyists more time to pressure lawmakers should be troubling to every Alabamian, regardless of whether they support gambling or not."
A close vote is expected in the House.
The Senate passed the bill 21-13.
Supporters have said the bill creates a gaming commission, finally taxes and regulates electronic bingo in Alabama, and ends the drama of raids and fights between the governor and attorney general.
Opponents believe electronic bingo is illegal in Alabama and that the bill allows a simple majority of the House and Senate to decide the future of gambling in the state.
If approved by the Legislature, voters would decide in November if they want the constitutional amendment to tax and regulate electronic bingo.

-- posted by Sebastian Kitchen

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