Tyson: This isn't about gambling at all - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Tyson: This isn't about gambling at all

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Governor Bob Riley calls the attorney general's move a "power grab". Governor Bob Riley calls the attorney general's move a "power grab".
Task Force commander John Tyson says he serves at the pleasure of the governor, not the attorney general. Task Force commander John Tyson says he serves at the pleasure of the governor, not the attorney general.

Posted by: John Shryock - bio | email

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WSFA) - The commander of Governor Bob Riley's Task Force on Illegal Gambling, John Tyson, said Tuesday that the debate raging in Alabama isn't about gambling at all, but about corruption.

Tyson made the remarks at the Kiwanis Club of Birmingham Tuesday morning.

Here's what he said:

"Ladies and Gentlemen, this debate isn't about gambling at all. It's about corruption.  It's about making sure our system can't be manipulated and corrupted by a few powerful people bent on taking Alabama for all it's worth.  

When casino operators who openly defy the law can be protected by the influence they wield with public officials – we have a serious problem in Alabama. 

When elected officials are more concerned about winning the favor of wealthy gambling barons than upholding the rule of law – the casino syndicate is becoming dangerously powerful.  

When a public official can walk into a casino, sit down at a hand-picked machine, and walk out with tens of thousands of dollars, and over a million over time – it becomes clear that there is almost no limit to the corruption that the casino syndicate is capable of.  No, sir. It's not about gambling at all. It's about corruption."

Tyson and Governor Riley are now fighting Alabama Attorney General Troy King for control of the Task Force. Tyson was ordered by AG King Monday to turn over all his evidence by 3pm Tuesday.

Riley and Tyson are refusing to accept King's authority, and all the evidence pertaining to the Task Force cases remain in their hands. A court fight is being promised by both sides.

Meanwhile, gaming centers that voluntarily closed to keep from being raided by the Task Force are now planning to reopen because of King's plans to take over the investigations.

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