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Gambling Enforcement News

Governor Robert Bentley said his order sending gambling enforcement back to the county level is aimed to clarify “the right approach” to the issue. According to the governor, constitutional officers such as sheriffs and district attorneys have the responsibility to interpret the law and make decision on whether they will prosecute.

He recently rescinded his 2011 executive order putting the power of gambling enforcement in the hands of Attorney General Luther Strange. That order followed an announcement earlier this year by the attorney general that said local officials would take the lead on those prosecuted in the future. Many believe both moves signaled a retreat from the state’s years-long battle with bingo operators, and may provide one way for casinos such as VictoryLand in Macon County to reopen. The governor has stated he would not oppose allowing Alabama citizens to vote on gambling. Legislative budget chairs acknowledge a need for more revenue for the General Fund and say they expect legalized gambling to be one option explored.

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