Gaming bill on hold in Senate

Published 9:14 pm Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Alabamians will have to wait at least another week to find out the fate of electronic bingo gaming bill in the state. A state Senate committee on Wednesday delayed action on a bill that would regulate and tax electronic bingo gambling in nine Alabama counties.

The committee decided to postpone action for one week because the bill’s sponsor Sen. committee to vote Wednesday, according to Committee Chairman Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro.

The committee is expected to vote next Wednesday, April 1 on the bill.

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The bill would allow games in Etowah, Greene, Houston, Lowndes, Jefferson, Macon, Mobile and Walker counties.

A comparable bill in the House of Representatives, which is sponsored by Rep. Marcel Black, D- Tuscumbia, has already won approval from a House committee two weeks ago and is waiting on action in the House.

Several country music entertainers, such as Alabama’s Randy Owen, George Jones, Darryl Worley, Lorrie Morgan and Tracy Lawrence have pushed for passage of the two bills. Country music interest in the passage of the bill stems from the fact that it would help clear up legal questions about a country music resort and gambling hall planned near Dothan. But the bills face strong opposition from Gov. Bob Riley and some religious organizations.

*The Associated Press contributed to this story