Alabama bingo machines, bingo parlors, amusement machine, gaming terminals, Bob Riley, Troy King, John Tyson, video gaming terminals, game operators
MONTGOMERY, AL -- Seeking to head off raids on
bingo parlors and subsequent job losses, the
Alabama House of Representatives is considering a
bill that proposes to make electronic bingo games
legal until next November. Supporters say during the
Nov. 2 general election, citizens could also vote on the
status of the controversial machines in a referendum
on a constitutional amendment. No such amendment
is yet on the ballot, however.
Passage of HB 1-54 would be a direct slap at Gov.
Bob Riley, who has directed his Task Force on Illegal
Gambling to seize all electronic bingo machines. Riley
has stated his opinion many times that a November
2009 verdict by the state Supreme Court effectively
outlawed all electronic bingo machines. Attorney
General Troy King, numerous local officials, and much
of the state's press have voiced sharp disagreement
with Riley's interpretation of the high court ruling.
The bill would also prevent parlors from adding more
electronic bingo games and freeze the number of bingo
parlors at current levels. The House Tourism and Travel
Committee approved the bill on Jan. 21.
On Jan. 25, Riley appointed a new taskforce director.
District Attorney John Tyson (D-Mobile County) accepted
the post, saying under his leadership the taskforce will
continue to conduct vigorous criminal and civil
investigations against bingo operators and venues.