- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 19, 2016

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A bill that would have allowed electronic gambling machines at a Macon County dog track failed on a procedural vote Tuesday night in the Alabama Senate.

Bill sponsor Sen. Billy Beasley, D-Clayton, was short of the votes needed to clear a procedural hurdle and bring it up for debate.

The legislation sought to write into state law that VictoryLand could have the same type of gambling machines operated by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. The tribe operates similar electronic bingo machines, which physically resemble slot machines, at its three casinos in Alabama. The tribe is under the jurisdiction of the federal government and not the state.

“It’s a fairness issue. There’s no question about it,” Beasley said.

Beasley said he believes voters authorized all forms of bingo - including electronic - when they approved an existing constitutional amendment allowing bingo in Macon County.

The Alabama Supreme Court last month ruled bingo machines seized from VictoryLand in a 2013 raid were illegal and not what was intended by constitutional amendments allowing bingo in some areas of the state. Justices said the amendments intended the card and paper type games.

VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor has said he plans to reopen with new machines despite the court ruling.

Senators voted 14-13 to bring the bill up for debate. However, a three-fifths majority is required to debate bills before lawmakers pass state budgets.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide