Florala's bingo planners waiting for November

Posted by Cody Holyoke - bio | email

FLORALA, AL (WSFA) -   The battle over bingo is more of a waiting game in the city of Florala.

Mayor Robert Williamson says he hopes to move forward with plans to bring electronic bingo to town, even after news broke of a federal investigation and indictments surrounding bingo legislation.

"If the indictments hold to be true, then those who are guilty need to be punished. If they're not true, they need to be exonerated," Williamson said.

City leaders hope to bring some 1,500 jobs and millions of dollars in revenue, but Williamson tells WSFA 12 News what happens on Election Day will make a big impact on future plans.

"The developer's saying what we're saying which is, 'Let's wait until November. Let's see what happens in November.' Who gets into office, and then how it is influenced come the next legislative session," Williamson explained.

While the plan moves at a snail's pace, residents also admit there's a lot riding on the November elections.

At the same time, they say they're worried the customer base that could be coming to Florala will continue to cross state lines.

"You got people that live a mile from Florida. And they're spending money on the lottery there," said Chris Costopoulous of Florala.

"Why not bring it here and bring it to our community?"

"We might as well have it here, and those who want to do it can, and those who don't want to do it don't have to do it," said Helen Nash of Florala.

It's a choice some residents say should be allowed--especially in Florala.

"It just ain't got no resources. Nothing coming here. We need everything we can get," said Willis Miller, a native of the town.

The developer for the project, still yet to be identified, is based out of Gulf Shores.  The proposal includes plans for a full-service restaurant, hotel, and entertainment center. 

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