Baker: 'Cloud of suspicion' over bingo bill

Published 2:09 am Wednesday, April 7, 2010

By Staff
State Rep. Alan Baker, R-Brewton, said he will not vote in favor of bingo legislation if it comes before the state House next week.
Baker said he has "concerns" about the bill, which would put a referendum on the November ballot for Alabama voters to decide on a constitutional amendment to regulate and tax electronic bingo.
But Baker said the bill — touted as a "simple" version of an earlier bill on the issue — would simply return the power to determine regulation to the Legislature.
Baker said he does support giving Alabama residents the chance to vote yes or no on the legality of electronic bingo.
Baker said he is also concerned about the legislation because it does not allow voters to reject bingo in their own counties if the constitutional amendment was passed.
The Senate passed the bingo bill last week, and soon after FBI agents told the Senate and House leadership they were investigating allegations of corruption surrounding the legislation.
Baker said the bill would have to come out of committee before coming before the full House. He said he has heard there is a possibility that it will not go before the House if the votes are not there to pass it.

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