Gambling failed to get passed again.
No lottery… no casinos… no sports betting. No gambling in Alaba… wait a minute.
There is still gambling in Alabama, and the current attorney general believes they are operating illegally.
The legislation that was recently attempted in the Alabama State House even lays it out:
Most forms of gambling have long been prohibited in Alabama, but the state has faced challenges in enforcing the law. The result is that gambling occurs in Alabama but it is not effectively regulated or taxed.
We can debate whether individual gambling operators are legal or not, and we can discuss local constitutional amendments and types of “bingo.”
I am not a lawyer, but Attorney General Steve Marshall is a lawyer, and he has made it clear that he believes the current gambling operators are operating outside of the law.
OK, so let’s shut them down.
Because these current operators are a roadblock to legal gambling in the state.
These “bingo” facilities do not want a lottery in the state unless they can get constitutional legitimacy. This should tell you a bit about their legality.
If they are allowed to do table games, they will allow a lottery to proceed. These are the facts.
But even if they are granted this legitimacy and new revenue sources, they still don’t want anyone else coming in and competing with them.
See: Random Donald Trump, Jr.’s accurate tweet
These quasi-legal facilities are supported locally, and questions of their legitimacy remain.
Yes, these gambling entities create jobs, pay taxes, support politicians and their communities; they are players in their communities and this state.
But, the AG thinks they are illegal. And the Supreme Court of Alabama has ruled electronic bingo is illegal in the state.
Let’s figure it out once and for all — if they are illegal, shut them down.
If they did not exist, the lottery as a standalone could pass. This is supported by the people.
If they did not exist, casinos and sports betting in a free (or free-er market) could pass. This is supported by the people.
The Poarch Band of Creek Indians? They aren’t going anywhere.
This is the reality in which we live. We have to deal with the issues at hand and here we are again without a gambling bill because some people benefit by operating, by the opinion of the state’s top prosecutor, outside of the law.
Figure out where we stand.
Fight the legal battles.
Shut them down.
A real attempt to do so might motivate some more reasonable compromises that would lead to a bill that can pass.
Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 AM weekdays on WVNN and on Talk 99.5 from 10AM to noon.