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Alabama Senate Takes Up Electronic Bingo Gambling Legislation

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Lawmakers in the state of Alabama have never been as divided on an issue as they currently are involving gambling. On Tuesday, the Senate began a discussion on an amendment that has been proposed that would allow voters in the state to decide the issue.

Governor Robert Riley created the Task Force on Illegal Gambling last year, and in the time since, the issue of gambling has caused some bitter feelings among the state's top lawmakers. Riley believes that all gambling is illegal in Alabama, while supporters of electronic bingo machines claim they are legal.

The Task Force has been busy raiding establishments that the governor has deemed to be running illegal machines. The raids have cost Alabamians thousands of jobs, and that sent some lawmakers to the drawing board.

Knowing they would most likely not be able to pass a bill that legalized gambling, these politicians instead proposed an amendment calling for legalized gambling at ten locations throughout the state. In order to pass, however, voters would have to approve the amendment.

Twenty-one votes are necessary in the Senate to pass the amendment. Another Bill that Senators will take up involves defining bingo. Once defined, the raids by the Task Force would then be eliminated.

Attorney General Troy King has warned that if the Task Force does not begin following procedure, then he may intervene and take control, of the Task Force. Governor Riley has yet to concede that he will change the way the Task Force is operating.

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