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Riley, King propose new gaming laws

By By MICHELE GERLACH – Publisher
Gov. Bob Riley and Attorney General Troy King announced Tuesday proposed gambling legislation that, if passed, would greatly impact gaming facilities across the state. However, neither the attorney general nor the governor's office could say for sure if the proposed laws would affect gaming facilities currently operated by the Poarch Creek Indians in Atmore and Wetumpka.
In a press conference Tuesday, Riley and King proposed legislation &#8220to take the profit out of illegal gambling, to close the legal loopholes that allow gambling facilities to operate a sweepstakes, to end electronic bingo, and to comprehensively overhaul and tighten constitutional provisions regarding lotteries and bingo in Alabama.”
In a phone interview Tuesday afternoon, King said the state is long overdue for a comprehensive reform of gaming laws.
While Indian gaming is governed by the federal Indian Gaming Commission, tribes must also follow state laws or have a compact with the state allowing them to operate gaming facilities not otherwise allowed by state law. For years, the Atmore-based Creek tribe has attempted to get such a compact with the state, allowing them to expand their gaming operations.
Currently, the tribe is putting the finishing touches on a 20,000 square foot expansion to their existing facility in Atmore that will include 592 additional electronic bingo machines. Tribal gaming officials had no comment on the proposals Tuesday.
The National Indian Gaming Commission's web site states that Class II gaming &#8220is defined as the game of chance commonly known as bingo (whether or not electronic, computer, or other technological aids are used in connection therewith) and if played in the same location as the bingo, pull tabs, punch board, tip jars, instant bingo, and other games similar to bingo