West Alabama lawmaker feels illegal gambling task force wasted m - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL


West Alabama lawmaker feels illegal gambling task force wasted millions of dollars

(Source: WBRC video) (Source: WBRC video)

Thursday’s decision by Governor Robert Bentley to turn over gambling law enforcement to local law enforcement could mean electronic bingo and jobs could be coming back to Greene County.

Before the move by Bentley places like Greenetrack and Greene Charity Bingo in Eutaw seemed to be targets with raids that shut them down.

State Representative Chris England tells WBRC, the special gambling task force originally created by Governor Bob Riley wasted millions of dollars and really didn't accomplish a thing.

"After several years of criminal investigations, businesses closed, jobs losses, nine million dollars spent, you'd think there would be at least one arrest for possession of gambling device or gambling proceeds. To the best of my knowledge I'm not aware of one," England said.

Greenetrack tells us they support Bentley's decision and says his actions will have a major economic impact in Greene County. That's something Representative England says couldn't come at a better time.

"Hopefully they will be able to operate and employ people and restore the opportunities that were lost,” England said.

Greene County's Sheriff Joe Benison says he’s very pleased with the governor’s executive order. Benison adds as he stated from the beginning, local law enforcement should be in control of enforcing gambling laws.

England says its also time to allow voters to decide on a state lottery. That’s an idea that has support on both sides of the political aisle.

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