The state of Alabama is similar to others in the country in that their residents have spoken and are ready to come into the twenty first century on the gambling issue. Their leader, however, Governor Bob Riley, is not hearing their calls.
Governor Riley is in the middle of a tour around the state to let people know that he will not tolerate illegal gambling. The gambling is taking place in the form of bingo machines.
“All of us know about places like Walker County where you have the bingo halls that have basically erupted to the point today that they just dominate the county. What you may not understand is this is becoming more and more prevalent in every county in the state,” said Riley, to a group at the Pelham Civic Complex.
It is not what residents do not understand that is bothering some, it is what they do understand. They understand that the reason there is all of the gambling expansion is because residents want places to gamble.
“We have some legislators in this state that have a grip on what the people want. They are fighting for new laws that would expand gambling in their areas. Then, we have others like Governor Riley, who do not get the big picture and are wasting valuable hours talking against what the people want,” said observer Victor Hurvle.
Riley claims that $175 million is being taken away from retailers and being used in these illegal gambling halls. That is $175 million that the state could pump back into the communities if the gambling was legal.
“All across the state of Alabama today we are seeing an expansion of gambling that we have never seen, that very few states have ever had to endure,” said Riley.
When asked about this remark, Hurvle shook his head, saying, “The truth is, many states are seeing the type of gambling expansion that Alabama is dealing with. The difference is that in other states, lawmakers have listened to what the people wanted and overseen the expansion themselves instead of allowing the illegal operations to receive the money.”