A proposed amendment to Alabama’s constitution that would once and for all clarify that GreeneTrack in Greene County and VictoryLand in Macon County would be within the law to operate electronic bingo machines, has failed.
Sponsored by Sen. Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro), the amendment was four votes shy of the necessary 21 on Wednesday, according to Alabama Today.
The March 31 written ruling by the Alabama Supreme Court left no doubt where the Court stands on the issue, stating that, “(Thursday’s) decision is the latest, and hopefully the last, chapter in the more than six years’ worth of attempts to defy the Alabama Constitution’s ban on ‘lotteries,’” the Court went on to say, “It is the latest, and hopefully the last, chapter in the ongoing saga of attempts to defy the clear and repeated holdings of this Court beginning in 2009 that electronic machines like those at issue here are not the ‘bingo’ referenced in local bingo amendments. All that is left is for the law of this State to be enforced,” according to the Montgomery Advertiser. That ruling made it necessary for the amendment to pass in order for operations to continue at GreeneTrack.
The amendment proposed by Singleton would have limited “bingo gaming” in Greene County to “a licensed racetrack where pari-mutuel wagering is currently legal”; defined bingo in such a way as to permit it to be played on electronic machines; and it would have also transferred governing of bingo from the sheriff to a Greene County Gaming Commission.
On March 23, two bills geared toward providing VictoryLand and Greenetrack with a stronger legal shield, sponsored by Sen. Billy Beasley, D-Clayton, and Rep. A.J. McCampbell, D-Demopolis, were approved by legislative committees in under 45 seconds.