The people's voice of reason

Mr. Speaker: Why Is CASINO GAMBLING Expansion A Priority?

Mr. Speaker, I read with great interest and frustration

the 1819 News article, “Rampant' illegal gambling

in Jefferson County shows need for enforcement

arm, House Speaker Ledbetter says.” In the past,

advocacy for legalized gambling was all about the

need for additional revenues. Now that state coffers

are overflowing with surplus revenue in the General

and Education Trust Funds, however, the “new

message” to legalize gambling has turned into the need for a Gaming

Regulatory Commission.

Let’s talk about this seriously flawed proposal.

Gambling in Alabama is already unconstitutional and laws against it should be

enforced. Are Attorney General Steve Marshall, the Alabama Supreme Court,

a handful of conservative legislators, Greg Davis with Alabama Citizens

Action Program (representing 3,500 churches statewide), and Becky Gerritson

with Eagle Forum the only ones in this state that get it right? All these folks

take the position that we should enforce the closure of these unconstitutional

illegal operations and arrest the owners.

Instead of following suit, Mr. Speaker, your solution is forming a commission?

This is not a solution. You do not regulate an illegal operation, you close it


First, let’s break this down. you want to create a new commission, increasing

the cost of government, legalizing and expanding current illegal gambling

activity, and allowing new casinos – including one in Jackson County, right

next door to your own house district.

Second, according to the 1819 News article, there are 70 illegal gambling

operations in Jefferson County that Sheriff Pettaway refuses to close. He is the

top law enforcement officer in Jefferson County. How does this new commission

somehow fix irresponsible law enforcement? Such a situation sounds like

President Joe Biden turning his head away from the illegal immigrants passing

through our border every day. Illegal is illegal, just enforce it.

Third, notice how these conversations always drift to the lottery, making the

argument that it has been 25 years since Alabama voters rejected it. Polling

back then hit a highwater mark of 60% in favor – until the public realized the

lottery prohibition lifted out of the Alabama Constitution paves the way for

casinos on every corner, making state corruption soar exponentially.

Here is tip for the readership, anytime a legislator uses the words, “it’s complicated,”

that is your cue to dig deeper. On this gambling/casino issue alone, the

complicated thing for legislators is that their pastors and the facts are pulling

in one direction, while the gambling lobbyists funding their political futures

are pulling in the opposite direction. Again, we must ask, “Who is driving

Alabama’s legislative priorities?”


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