Mon January 5, 2004
Call for Gambling in south and west Alabama
By Alabama Public Radio
Mobile and Eutaw, AL – A new poll from the Mobile Register and the University of South Alabama show that most residents in Mobile and Baldwin counties are in favor of a state lottery and legalizing casino gambling.
54-percent of respondents said they would support a lottery if the proceeds went to education. Another 20 percent said they would support a lottery even without the funds being earmarked. That brought the general support of a lottery to around 74-percent in these two counties.
Also, 57-percent voiced support for casino gambling ... with 38-percent of those people preferring that revenue be sent toward education.
The rise in support for gambling among residents in Mobile and Baldwin County may be tied to the scary budget projections for next year coming out of Montgomery. The Riley administration has forecast budget shortfalls ranging in the hundreds of millions of dollars in coming years.
A lottery is predicted to generate about 150 million dollars a year. Tax revenue from legalized video poker at the state's four dogs tracks would total an estimated 15 million dollars a year.
Meanwhile, a high stakes bingo operation opens for the first time this afternoon at Greenetrak dog track in Greene County.
Greene County voters passed a constitutional amendment in November that limits the pay outs to 10-thousand dollars per bingo session. However, there is no limit on how long, or how short, a session can be.
Several local nonprofit groups will benefit from revenue created by the high stakes bingo operation. Greenetrak will offer three types of bingo, including paper, electronic and video bingo.
Doors open this afternoon at 2 o-clock.