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Panel to address Alabama gambling laws

A local state senator has been named to the Alabama Advisory Council on Gaming to assess gambling laws across the state.

Sen. Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro, is one of 11 appointments to the new council, which was announced Friday as part of an executive order by Gov. Robert Bentley. Singleton was appointed to the council by Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston.

“I am looking forward to the recommendation presented by this 11-person Advisory Council,” Bentley said in a written statement. “In recent years, a considerable amount of time and resources have been spent debating gaming in Alabama; however I am hopeful this group will present some new ideas or solutions that can help resolve this ongoing dispute and provide a clear direction going forward.”

The purpose of the council is to look at current gambling laws statewide, as well as the taxes generated from them, in order to evaluate best practices in other states, which include tax revenue structures, the enabling and implementing of regulations and laws, as well as compare Alabama state laws to applicable federal gaming laws.

In June, the Alabama Attorney General’s Office was ordered by Judge Houston Brown to return 825 bingo machines that were seized during a raid of the casino in 2010. The AG's office contended that the machines were illegal, but Brown stated the machines were in compliance with a constitutional amendment that legalized electronic bingo in Greene County back in 2003.

However, Attorney General Luther Strange asked the Alabama Supreme Court to delay the decision, resulting in the court staying the decision in July.

As part of assembling the council, members had to be selected by Bentley, Marsh, House Speaker Mac McCutcheon, the District Attorneys Association and the Sheriffs Association. Marsh appointed Singleton and Sen. Greg Albritton, R-Atmore.

Other people appointed to the council include:

- Jim Byard, Jr., director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs

- Clinton Carter, director of the Alabama Department of Finance

- Carrie McCollum, general counsel for the Alabama Credit Union Administration

- Curtis Stewart, deputy commissioner of the Alabama Department of Revenue

- Rep. Connie Rowe, R-Jasper

- Rep. Jim Carns, R-Birmingham

- House Minority Leader Craig Ford, D-Gadsden

- Barry Matson, deputy director of the Alabama District Attorneys Association


- Bobby Timmons, executive director of the Alabama Sheriffs Association

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