Alabama’s Anti-Gambling Task Force Revived

Alabama state governor Bob Riley is not a fan of gambling. This is demonstrated by his move last year to set up

Alabama state governor Bob Riley is not a fan of gambling. This is demonstrated by his move last year to set up a group that he calls the “Task Force on Illegal Gambling”, which he uses to enforce his state’s strict gambling laws (American gambling laws give individual states some flexibility when it comes to local gambling legislation). The group’s largest efforts so far have been aimed at taking control of a growing problem with local electronic bingo halls. 

While traditional paper bingo is legal in Alabama, the status of electronic bingo has been questionable. These electronic bingo games are very similar to online bingo games, but they are only networked locally, and are not actually connected to the internet. Riley considers the games to be too similar to slot machines, which are illegal in the state. 
The Governor’s Task Force hit a major bump a few weeks ago when the head of the group, David Barber, was pressured to quit after news came out that he recently won $2,300 gambling at a Mississippi casino. Interestingly, it has since been revealed that a begrudged Alabama bingo operator hired a private detective to follow Barber, and it was this detective who was responsible for making the news of his gambling public. 
Governor Riley took the hit in stride and has already his Task Force back in action, appointing Mobile County District Attorney John Tyson Jr. to lead the team. Tyson made it clear when he took charge that it has been almost 20 years since he last gambled, when he lost about $20 at a casino in Mississippi. 
“I formed this task force for one reason and one reason only, and that’s to fulfill my oath of office that I would ensure that the laws of this state are faithfully executed,” Riley said. “With John Tyson on our team, I’m confident that we will succeed.”

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