The city of Bessemer approves electronic bingo

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - In a vote of 5 to 2, the Bessemer city council approved an ordinance allowing electronic bingo in the city.  The measure was approved by councilors Louise Alexander, Sarah Belcher, Dorothy Davidson, Jesse Matthews and council president Earl Cochran, Sr.  The two dissenting council members were Albert Soles and James Stephens. Mayor Ed May was outraged over the vote, saying the council rushed the vote on an ordinance with too many ambiguities.  "Something like this, quite frankly, it reminds me of Sodom and Gomorrah," May said after the meeting.  "If they pass this, what's next? Legalizing prostitution? Legalizing marijuana? Legalizing cocaine? What's next?"  May says he will veto the measure even though he realizes the council already has enough votes to override his veto. Council President Cochran says bingo will bring much needed revenue to the city, but when asked how much revenue, he replied that the council hasn't studied that yet.  He says there are already places operating electronic bingo machines in the city. Some of those doing so say they're able to operate because of a court injunction. Cochran says now, with the passage of the ordinance, the city will be able to benefit from the money that's collected.