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Bingo Bill Makes Headway in the Alabama State Senate

Mar 31, 2010 - by admin
Alabama Bingo

After months of both debate and action with accents of public discontent, a bill regarding the current bingo situation has finally made a bit of headway in the Alabama legislative system. The bill was passed, by the skin of its teeth in the state Senate on Tuesday.

Andalusia State-News: Bingo narrowly passes Senate

Late yesterday, the Alabama Senate passed a bingo bill with a vote of 21-13. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Roger Bedford, D-Russellville, and would allow Alabama residents to decide if they want to tax and regulate electronic bingo in November.

This bill would create a gaming commission and tax gambling in the state by at least 25%. Bedford said that this rate is already 3 times higher than in New Jersey and Nevada, but could be increased.

The 5 members of the gaming commission couldn’t work for gambling interests for 5 years before or after serving on the commission; and gambling interests couldn’t contribute to the campaigns of the elected officials who appoint commission members. The commission would have subpoena power and would be subject to the Alabama Ethics Commission.

If the Legislature and voters approve the bill, lawmakers will have a special session next year and determine more of the details. The measure must also pass the Alabama House of Representatives.

CBS News: Senate Approves Bingo Bill

A once thought dead bingo bill has new life in what the bill’s author calls a shorter, simpler form. In a surprise move on Tuesday, Senate Bill 330 was re-introduced by Senator Roger Bedford. Senate Republicans tried to defeat the measure but failed and it passed with 21 votes to 13.

The bill now needs to be passed in the state House. There are still 3 weeks left in the session, and bingo supporters say they’ll have plenty of time to get it passed so Alabama residents will get the chance to vote on it in November.

The Associated Press: Alabama Senate Passes Electronic Bingo Bill

Alabama voters may get to vote in referendum on whether they want electronic gaming in the state after the senate passed a proposed constitutional amendment on Tuesday night.

The senate mustered 21 votes, just enough to pass the bill, which protects games from raids, at the same time as taxing and regulating them. Before this bill is subjected to referendum, it must be passed in the state’s House of Representatives.

In the meantime, the Alabama Supreme Court has left a judge’s order in place which blocks the Governor’s Anti-Gambling Task Force from raiding VictoryLand in Macon County.

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