Gambling rallies get loud at Statehouse

MONTGOMERY, AL (WBRC) - In a loud confrontation at the Alabama Statehouse, pro and anti-gambling forces clashed over legalizing electronic bingo at ten locations in Alabama.

Six bus loads carried folks from Greene County. They came in support of gambling. "Try to get the bingo passed. People need their jobs. That is what my thinking is about," said Bobby Davis.
"I feel like if we lose Greenetrack there will be a lot of crime. People won't have jobs There will be a lot of stealing," Earlean Issac, Greene County Probate Judge said.

Originally there was supposed to be a pro-gambling rally, but it did not take place. The group instead hung around for an anti-gambling rally after noon time. One Greensboro Senator, Bobby Singleton, urged the crowd to let Gov. Bob Riley speak in peace, but the governor received a mix reception. Riley continued to oppose and promised a crackdown on electronic bingo operations. "Alabama has spoken for a hundred years its law against gambling. As long as I'm you governor, we will enforce the law," Riley said.
Part of the crowd even jeered First Lady Patsy Riley. "One side wants a dollar no matter what. The other side wants Sweet Home Alabama, God Bless," Patsy Riley said.
After the Rileys concluded, many of their supporters and anti-gambling folks believe this was orchestrated by pro-gambling forces. "He wasn't shown much respect. No one else was shown much respect by people who are opposing our viewpoint, gambling is illegal," said Mike Shaw, pastor at the First Baptist Church of Pelham.
The Alabama Senate did not take up the electronic gaming bill. Talks are still underway seeking support.