Ala. House committee OKs electronic bingo bill

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A proposed constitutional amendment to tax and regulate electronic bingo machines has won approval from a committee in the Alabama House.

The House Tourism and Travel Committee used a voice vote Wednesday to approve the legislation.

The committee passed a version of the bill that would allow games in Etowah, Greene, Houston, Lowndes, Jefferson, Macon, Mobile and Walker counties.

The committee took out Calhoun County, which was in the original version.

The Senate Tourism and Marketing Committee held a public hearing on an identical bill Wednesday, but did not vote.

The legislation attracted support from country music entertainers, who say it will help a country entertainment center be built near Dothan.

Tracy Lawrence sang "Paint Me a Birmingham" for the House committee, and Alabama singer Randy Owen told the Senate committee that there is no place he'd rather play than Alabama.

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