Bills would allow electronic bingo in 9 counties

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Far-reaching bills that would permit and tax electronic bingo games in nine Alabama counties have been introduced in the Alabama House and Senate.

The identical bills would also require the state to attempt to establish a compact with the Poarch Band of the Creek Indians that would give state recognition to electronic bingo games at Indian facilities in Wetumpka, Montgomery and Atmore. The compact would allow the state to tax Indian gaming operations.

The House sponsor, Democratic Rep. Marcel Black of Tuscumbia, said the proposed legislation would limit bingo operations and allow the state to tax the games heavily.

The bills are proposed constitutional amendments and would have to be approved in a statewide vote. Gambling opponents have promised to fight the bills.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)