Del Marsh disputes reporting that he is writing a ‘tribe-friendly’ gambling bill
Alabama State Sen. Jim McClendon (R-Springville) offered a lottery bill that was declared a “clean bill,” but issues arose once it was proposed that it would allow entities who are running electronic bingo in the state to transition over to “virtual lottery terminals.” The differences between these machines are negligible as both electronic bingo and virtual lottery terminals are essentially slot machines with extra steps.
Appearing on WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show” Friday, Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) intimated that he would be fine with McClendon’s bill, but it might make more sense to have a “straight up lottery” vote.
“I’m almost indifferent,” Marsh said. “If we want to do that I’m fine with that, but I go back to that the simplest thing to do, I think, to put before the people of Alabama, and less confusing, is a true simple straight up lottery.”
According to some reports, Marsh was working on a “tribe-friendly” bill. Alabama liberals have two boogeymen when it comes to the failure to pass a lottery over the years: churches and the Alabama Poarch Band of Creek Indians.
So, the implication that Marsh is doing the bidding of either is a win-win for Alabama liberals.
Marsh denies he is working on any bill that would be declared “tribe-friendly,” but agreed that could be changed to Senator McClendon’s bill.
“All that other stuff could be stripped out of it if it goes back to a simple lottery,” Marsh explained.
He added, “[Y]ou may see someone put one in that’s just a straight up plain and simple lottery from day one.”
Later on the show, Stephanie Bryan, tribal chair for the Alabama Poarch Band of Creek Indians appeared to be open to not only a simple lottery vote, but to a vote on a much wider gaming plan. She acknowledged she would like to see a widened scope of gambling in the form of games and locations throughout the state.
The position of the tribe appears to be they do not want an expansion of legalized gambling if they can’t, at least, compete for it. This is a logical position for them to hold and would provide the most economic incentive for the state of Alabama in the form of expanded gambling opportunities.
Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN