Saturday, May 25 2013 4:36 PM EDT2013-05-25 20:36:14 GMT
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DOTHAN, AL (WSFA) – Local Christians in the wiregrass is taking a stand against gambling.
Monday hundreds gathered at the Dothan Civic Center for a rally opposing electronic bingo in the state of Alabama.
Richard Crook recently moved to the wiregrass from West Memphis, Arkansas. He says he wanted to return to his family's home state to get away from gambling.
"It's doesn't bring prosperity, in fact West Memphis is one of the most depressed areas in the state," says Richard Crook.
Crook says he's seen firsthand the negative effects of gambling on a community.
"I know of families that were absolutely destroyed, wives spending the household money, husbands spending the money," Adds Crook.
That's why he joined the Concerned Wiregrass Citizens rally. The group is trying to rid the state of all kinds of gambling.
"You see this today, people are coming this is not a dead issue in Alabama and neither is it Dothan and we're here to pull that mask off and say there is another alternative," says Rev. Tom Anderson, of the Concerned Wiregrass Citizens.
Organizers say turnout at the rally is an encouraging sign to what they say is only the beginning of their movement.
"There are many more people than this, and it's going to be something that you see grow and continue to grow," said Rev Jeff Peacock.
Growth that Crook say's takes a community, the type of community he moved to Alabama for.
"That's the reason I'm here today, I don't want it in my backyard," said Crook.
It's a feeling he and hundreds shared as they begin their fight against gaming.