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The state of Alabama is at a crossroads with electronic gambling machines. The governor of the state wants them banished, establishments claim they are legal, and lawmakers are looking to amend current gambling laws.
On Wednesday, the latest chapter in the debate was written. The Senate Tourism and Marketing Committee voted in favor of the “Sweet Home Alabama” legislation. The constitutional amendment would tax and regulate electronic gambling in the state.
The Bill will now head to the full Senate. It is expected that they will begin discussions within the next couple of weeks regarding the expanded gambling. Senator Quinton Ross is the Bill’s sponsor.
While the amendment proposal is working its way through legislature, Governor Robert Riley has reiterated his intentions to stop all forms of gambling in Alabama. He recently suffered a setback when a judge ordered the state to return over 100 electronic bingo machines to an establishment that had been raided.
The governor has set up a Gambling Task Force to seek out and shut down locations where the electronic bingo machines were in operation. That effort may soon have to be abandoned if the amendment passes through the state government.
In addition to having to give the electronic machines back, those opposed to gambling in Alabama took another hit earlier this week when a St. Clair judge ruled that a bingo hall containing electronic machines could be open in Ashville.