With the lottery dead, what about the illegal gambling in Alabama?
When the session started it almost seemed certain that there would be some form of lottery passed through the Alabama legislature, signed by the governor and voted on by the people in March 2020.
But in Alabama politics the only certain thing is uncertainty and now, by all accounts, the lottery is more dead than Doug Jones’ 2020 reelection.
The questions that doomed this lottery are the same as always, “Who gets the money?” Schools or the general fund? Prisons or college scholarships?
It is hard to believe it has been 20 years since Alabama narrowly rejected a lottery, a gambit that sent a corrupt former Governor Don Siegelman to the clink.
In those 20 years, it appears we are no closer to forcing Alabama residents who play the lottery to drive across state lines and send their money to other states.
Regardless, this chapter in the saga appears to be over.
But, there was also a bonus question: “Will Alabama grant legal status to illegal electronic bingo in the state?”
The answer was “no.” The answer to that question seemed to be decided early on. There were multiple attempts by legislators to protect various illegal gambling entities. And oddly, in Jefferson County, the sheriff’s brother even tried to start up new gambling entities, however, that was shut down.
So, what now?
A short synopsis would be “The attorney general is coming!” But Steve Marshall himself rejected that premise in an interview on WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show” Thursday morning.
Marshall explained that he was already working on this form of gambling.
Leaving nothing to chance, when asked if these electronic bingo machines were illegal, he responded, “Absolutely.“
He also believes he and his office are already working on these issues.
“We are going to pursue the remedies that we have right now,” Marshall revealed.
If that course does not produce the desired result, the attorney general is prepared to move.
“We will investigate just like we would the situation in Birmingham, prepare search warrants as they come and then be able to take action from there,” he stated.
So whether Marshall likes the framing or not, he’s is preparing to shut down illegal gambling in this state.
This could take the form of a court action or a new version of the bingo raids we saw during former Governor Bob Riley’s time in office. Either way, the attorney general is coming.