Gov. Bentley: “I am appointing an advisory council on gaming”

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Alabama Governor Robert Bentley is hoping his new gaming council will find solutions to gambling in Alabama.

Everything is on the table, including a compact with the Poarch Creek Indians. Bentley says he thinks the issue of gaming in the state needs to be decided once and for all. The new council is supposed to bring recommendations that will advise lawmakers on the best path forward.

Bentley signed an executive order Monday, creating the Alabama Advisory Council on Gaming. He hopes this group will examine gaming in the state and create recommendations for state lawmakers.

“I want the recommendations to be concrete recommendations from this council,” Bentley said. “I don’t want it to be just a study group.”

The council will present their findings by January 31 of next year. That way, if there’s any legislation recommended, it can be brought up in the regular session in February.

“Now I don’t know what the recommendations of this committee will be, but I do believe the people of Alabama have the right to be part of this solution. Now what does that mean? That there has to be something put before the people of this state so they can vote on it,” Bentley said.

The council will look at state and local gaming laws–including counties where electronic bingo is legal. Bentley hopes this council will clear up the confusion.

“It’s such a quiltwork of constitutional amendments, local constitutional amendments around the state, so it’s a very confusing issue that’s not being resolved and it will not be resolved unless as I say we come up with a comprehensive plan and let the people participate in that,” he explained.

The council is made up of 11 appointees. Governor Bentley gets 7. Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh will get 2 and Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon will get 2. Those appointees will be announced in the near future.

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