Vote on Bingo Bill Delayed

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By Lisa Blackwell

A controversial bill designed to tax and regulate bingo has been delayed again.

The day started with a rally outside the statehouse. Supporters were hopeful that that bingo would make it to the ballot. But as the session opened one of the sponsors of the bingo bill stated it would be carried over due to a lack of support.

Rep. Marcel Black, (D) District 3, AL, says, “About noon or 12:30 this afternoon you know to the end we were still trying to talk and convince folks and it just became apparent that we weren't going to have the 63 votes to send it to the people.”

There's a remote possibility that the bill could come up for discussion on Thursday the last day of the session but most people feel the legislation is dead.

Rep. Barry Mask, (R) District 37, “Let me tell you the dynamics that happened this last 48 hours, it was white democrats that went to the speaker and said we really don't want to vote on this bill, if we're not going to pass it we don't want to bear the cross of having to vote for it.”

Rep. Cam Ward, (R) District 49 AL, “My feeling is that the courts will eventually resolve the issue and quite frankly I think the courts should have been the ones to resolve it already the votes aren't there on either side for the bingo issue and I understand I feel for those people who are hating the job issue.”

Meanwhile legislators say sixteen counties have constitutional amendments and the drama will play out there.

“Court battles and raids are going to continue until this decision is ultimately decided once and for all” said Rep. Black.

As it stands now it doesn't appear voters will have a voice about bingo in November.

The next legislative session is set for March of 2011.

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