Alabama Bingo Fight Continues

It is hard to imagine a place where there is intense opposition to a harmless game of internet bingo but in the state of Alabama the bingo battle continues. The last elections saw the inauguration of a new governor and the replacement of former governor Riley an anti gambling extremist. Despite the fact that a large majority of Alabama residents favor legalized gambling former governor Riley took every action possible to thwart the desires of the majority. Most people thought that the controversy would end with Riley’s departure but newly elected Attorney General Luther Strange is now trying to shut down electronic bingo games on Indian reservations in the state.

One would think that there are more pressing issues facing Alabama such as massive deficits but AG Strange has other ideas. The Native Americans say that because paper bingo is legal in Alabama that electronic bingo is also legal. The tribes are operating under federal law that says they can conduct any games that are legal in the state. Newly elected governor Robert Bentley said during his campaign that bringing jobs to Alabama would be a priority. Gambling has brought thousands of jobs to the state and thousands lost their jobs because of former governor Riley’s policies pandering to a tiny minority of gambling opponents in the state.

In a letter to the National Indian Gaming Commission AG Strange asked the organization to bad electronic bingo machines. In his letter Strange wrote, “I would ask that any regulations make clear that the mere fact that traditional bingo is allowed in certain parts of this state does not mean that ‘electronic bingo’ is legal on Indian lands in this state.” Unfortunately the governor supports Strange’s latest move. Strange claims that the electronic bingo machines are ‘slot machines’ which are illegal in Alabama.

Many Alabama residents continue to happily play bingo at one of the hundreds of bingo sites online. Bingo news sites have reported on the Alabama bingo dispute for years. Those who enjoyed the bingo games available at local casinos have gone online to play online bingo games. Bingo sites have enables Alabama bingo fans to stay above the government fray and controversy. It is probably hard for any bingo player to understand the controversy generated by bingo in Alabama. Most people consider bingo as a ‘soft’ form of gambling that is relatively harmless. It would be great if the Governor and Attorney General of Alabama would focus on reducing deficits and leave bingo players alone!

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