A bill that would legalize some electronic bingo operations in Alabama has cleared its first hurdle in the Alabama House.
The House Tourism and Travel Committee approved the bill Wednesday by voice vote. It would temporarily legalize electronic bingo games that were in operation as of Dec. 1. The bill now goes to the full House for debate.
The bill, by Democratic Rep. Marcel Black of Tuscumbia, would stop Gov. Bob Riley's antigambling task force from raiding and shutting down electronic bingo operations.
More than 400 people gathered at the Statehouse for an almost three-hour hearing. The commission heard more than two dozen speakers who made passionate pleas for and against legalizing electronic bingo.