House committee hears arguments on bill to protect VictoryLand bingo

State / Regional

MONTGOMERY, AL (WIAT) — A House committee recently heard arguments on a gaming bill, sponsored by Rep. Pebblin Warren (D-Tuskegee). The bill is a separate issue from the lottery proposals. This bill would amend the Alabama Constitution to expand gaming in Macon County, where VictoryLand bingo is located.

This measure would propose a local amendment to the 1901 Constitution of Alabama, relating to Macon County, to provide that the game of bingo authorized to be played in Macon County. It would allow bingo to be played on any electronic machine authorized by the National Indian Gaming Commission pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and operated by any Native American tribe in Alabama.

“He [Jesus] might have gone out there with a crowd in the streets and started shooting some craps, who knows. He went out there making wine for them to drink,” Warren said.

Warren made those comments while defining her bill to protect electronic bingo in Macon County. Her bill is currently in a House committee.

“When we started electronic bingo we were having financial problems, but once we got VictoryLand in there and the money started rolling, you could see a difference,” Warren said.

Right now it is unclear as to which lottery bill will make it out of the legislature, but Warren said she prefers Sen. Jim McClendon’s bill.

“It would have to take care of everything because if you’re going to do gaming, do it right,” Warren said.

Now that a lottery bill has cleared the Senate, the House is expected to take up the bill soon.

“You look at the current budgets that we have and the revenue coming in, we don’t have a lot of extra revenue to fund some of those things, so I think the lottery would definitely be an option out there,” Mac McCutcheon, Alabama House Speaker, said. 

The House committee did not vote on Warren’s bill Wednesday, April 24.

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