Alabama To Clean Up Gambling Operations

Published on: December 31, 2008 

While the state of Kentucky has been commandeering online gaming URLs in an effort to ban online casino games from the state, the state of Alabama has been talking about taxing the gambling establishments located throughout the state.  The government had planned on going into the new year discussing the how’s and why’s behind the plan, but Governor Bob Riley decided to stall the conversation and enacting the plan.  Instead, Riley has announced that he is forming a task force in the state to seek out and investigate all of the gambling operations in Alabama in order to identify the legal operations from the illegal ones, such as bingo halls that are using casino like slot machines on their premises.

“Enough is enough. Alabamians should never be forced to stand by and watch rouge gambling interests come in and take our state for all it's worth,” said Governor Riley. His task force is coming into play after the state government made the announcement about the tax on all of the state’s gambling.  “The law is very clear. But the law doesn't matter to the gambling interests and their allies. They use the excuse, 'gambling is already here, so we might as well tax it.' I say it should not be here at all....We should get rid of illegal gambling for good wherever it exists in Alabama,” the governor said.  

Many people are wondering if Riley is going to go the same route that Kentucky’s governor Steve Beshear went when he refers to ‘illegal’ gambling in the state to refer to online casinos and poker rooms.  Beshear, who initially ran on the election ticket of expanding gambling in the state, was the one who pushed to seize domain names in the state that were affiliated with online gambling institutions.  Critics believe this move was so that the state could monopolize the gambling revenue in the state once operations expanded.  These same critics believe that Riley may be attempting to do the same thing with his task force that will be coming in to ‘clean out’ all of the current gambling halls in an effort to legalize their own form of gambling without competition.

Most states are turning to expanded casino and lottery gambling as a revenue source since there is a global recession in effect.  Legislators across the board feel that by allowing gambling and possibly even taxing it they are finding a way to help offset budget deficits.

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