Troy locals speak out on Bingo legislation

Published 9:25 pm Monday, February 22, 2010

KRISTINA VISE

Supporters of the electronic bingo legislation will gather at the Statehouse steps today at 2 p.m., according to a Monday press release from Country Crossing in Dothan

The electronic bingo legislation is currently making its way through the Senate, and if it passes there, it will move on to the House. The legislation would regulate and tax electronic bingo.

Entertainers Tracy Lawrence, John Anderson, Darryl Worely and James Stroud will join hundreds of former employees from Country Crossing, VictoryLand and Greenetrack for the “Let the People Vote” Rally, the release said.

If given the option, Troy residents voiced differing opinions on just how they’d vote.

Mary Page is one resident who would vote no. “I’ve never been to a gambling institution in Alabama or anywhere,” Page said. “They only make the rich richer and the poor poorer.”

Page gambling was nothing more than an “addicting scam,” and if electronic bingo were legalized it would bring an increase in crime along with it.

“I saw it happen in Louisiana,” she said. “And it can happen here.”

Cindy Brunson is another face that legislators won’t see gathered with the county music artists today.

“You’re not going to catch me at that rally,” said Cindy Brunson. “I’d vote no.”

Although Brunson admitted to having been to a city infamous for gambling, Las Vegas, she has not gambled herself.

“I’m not going to waste my time or my money playing bingo,” Brunson said.

But not everyone agreed with Brunson and Page.

Kitty Griswold said the Senate should pass the electronic bingo legislation. “Nearly everyone gambles on something,” Griswold said.

“So many people drive to Mississippi or Louisiana. Why not keep them and their money here?”

Nell Fowler agreed.

“I would vote yes,” she said.

“Country Crossing and VictoryLand have been functioning just fine until now.

“Why are they closing them up and giving them a hard time now?”

While she may not rally in Montgomery, Ann Ware supports the legalization of electronic bingo and gambling, as well.

With the passage of the legislation, Ware said electronic bingo could bring much-needed revenues to the state.

“It will be a tremendous benefit to the schools,” Ware said.

The Alabama Senate is expected to discuss the bingo legislation in session this week.