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State Sen. Albritton: Senate gaming bill is ‘very, very restrictive’

said state Sen. Greg Albritton (R-Atmore). The Senate's gambling bill is significantly different from the one approved by the House. The law prohibits electronic bingo, class III casinos, sports betting, and any form of electronic gambling.

“[W]In the version passed by the Senate, what we have is a very, very restrictive gaming permit,” Albritton explained.

“The House of Commons has a broader part in terms of gaming. It's an expansion, not an expansion. They both have lotteries and they're pretty much the same in terms of how they're set up. They both have the same requirements for compact language, I think that was the case. And for the existing sites that we already had, we handled them completely differently.”

Albritton discussed the gaming bill Friday on Alabama Public Television's “Capitol Journal.”

He said the Senate version adds much-needed regulation to existing gambling sites without adding any new ones.

“[W]Let’s capture what we have,” he said. “We will regulate it and make it enforceable by making everything the same.”

The bill would include pari-mutuel betting on historic horse racing computerized machines at racetracks in Greene, Jefferson, Macon, and Mobile counties, additional locations in Greene County, and existing bingo halls in Houston County. Proposals and amendments to authorize betting. and the town of Whitehall in Lowndes County.

RELATED: Alabama Senate passes toned-down gambling bill

Albritton also responded to critics who say gambling should not be legalized in Alabama.

“My answer is that we are already on that path,” he insisted. “I don't gamble. I don't think it's a good thing at all. I think it's a very poor investment of money, but I think any activity that needs to be controlled by the state needs to be controlled. Whether it's the operations of our business, the environment or anything else.”

“Every business has its own challenges and gambling is no different,” he added. “The best way to deal with it is to regulate so that you can control what the problem is, and then fund the problem that is there so that you can fix it, repair it, alleviate it in some way, and then It’s about having it on hand, so you know what’s going on and when.”

The state senator believes it would be foolish to ignore the gaming problem since it is already happening across the state.

“Nowadays, games are being played everywhere, in every country,” he said. “We have it under semi-authority, and some of it is without authority. It’s on the phone, it’s everywhere. We have to find a way, and I hope we can find one.”

Yaffee is a contributor to Yellowhammer News and hosts “The Yaffee Program” weekdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. WVNN. You can follow him on Twitter @Yaffee

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