Gaming Council hears both sides of issue in public hearing

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Gov. Robert Bentley's Advisory Council on Gaming held a public hearing Thursday from both sides of the issue weighing in. Any gaming or lottery proposal would need to change the Alabama Constitution and would eventually need public approval.

"We need to take it out of the political realm and just give it to the people," urged Iva Williams of Birmingham.

Williams was a vocal supporter of gaming in the meeting. He took out Georgia lottery tickets at one point saying he was tired of funding the education of other states' kids.

"The arguments against any type of gaming are silly," he explained.

Those against gaming were also represented.

Ken Allen said gaming did not care about the societal cost, "as long as they bled that person bone dry of every dollar they had in their pocket."

Allen, and others against gaming proposals wanted council members to weigh the cost of gaming on society.

"They need to be deliberate in their approach," he stated.

However, many of these arguments have been used for decades, and most of the information is now known.

"That was about 20 years ago, now, Alright, it's time to vote," Williams said.

Before anybody in the public will have a chance to vote on gaming legislation it will need to go through the legislature, which will resume meetings on Feb. 7.

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