Friday, February 10, 2006
On this day:

Riley and King: Abolish electronic "sweepstakes" games

I'm fine with pretty much any anti-gambling bill, as long as it doesn't interfere with my Friday night game of Texas-Hold-Em. This one doesn't:

MONTGOMERY - Gov. Bob Riley and Attorney General Troy King said Tuesday they want a constitutional amendment to abolish the Las Vegas-like electronic gaming machines beeping at state dog tracks.

Their proposal would prohibit the electronic sweepstakes games recently opened in Birmingham and the electronic bingo machines played at the dog tracks in Macon and Greene counties. The tracks could still have bingo, but they would be relegated to the old-fashioned variety, with cards.

Riley and King said track owners are taking advantage of loopholes in state law, and most people never imagined roomfuls of machines for playing bingo or a promotional sweepstakes.

"If it looks like a slot machine and sounds like a slot machine, ladies and gentlemen to me it is a slot machine," Riley said.

Needless to say, Alabama gambling magnate Milton McGregor isn't happy:
Milton McGregor, owner of the Birmingham and Macon County tracks, isn't pleased with it, either. "The tracks will be out of business if Riley's proposal passes," he said. ...

"Myself and other companies have collectively spent millions of dollars in Birmingham. Now, after we get our investment made, Gov. Riley wants to change the law. That's obviously wrong and ridiculous," McGregor said.
"Myself and other companies?" Yick!

If for no other reason, the legislature should pass this bill as Mr. McGregor's penance for such a foul misuse of the English language.