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Bingo Clarification By Lawmakers In Alabama Key To Gambling Future

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The 2010 legislative session begins in Alabama on Tuesday, and gambling will be one of the central issues being discussed. There are plans ranging from regulation of video gambling machines, to clarification of the game of bingo.

In 2009, Governor Robert Riley set up a task force to seek out and raid what the governor believes were establishments operating illegal gambling machines. Several of these establishments have fought the raids in the Alabama court system.

Because of Riley's aggressive approach to ridding the state of gambling, the issue has become a hotly debated one among lawmakers. There are several proposals that are set to be unveiled at the session that begins today.

Representative Marcel Black is preparing to propose an amendment that would have Alabama residents deciding whether or not to regulate video gambling machines. Under the plan, the machines would be taxed with the revenue generated going towards the state budget.

Other lawmakers have different ideas. The main problem with the current law is that there is no clear definition as to what is legal or illegal gambling in Alabama. A clarification of the game of bingo would help settle these legal disputes.

Black believes that the gambling culture has already infiltrated Alabama, and there is little Riley can do to stop the spread. That is why Black is proposing to tax the industry instead of alienating it.

In the US, many states have started with similar discussions and ended up with legalized casinos in the past several years. The economic recession has been the driving force behind the biggest gambling boom ever in the US.

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