Grand Jury Subpoenas Alabama Senator Over Gambling Case

April 28th, 2010 – by Glen Farmer

When the gambling issue was heating to a boil, it was no surprise that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had stepped in to determine whether or not seeds of corruption had been sown amongst the dissent. A grand jury has assembled to preside over the case, and the subpoenas have begun.

On Monday, Senator Paul Sanford (R-Huntsville) stated that the FBI informed him of the subpoena. The agency was informed that he would pick it up on Wednesday, in Montgomery.

The subpoena stems from the fact that Senator Sanford stated that he was offered campaign contributions by gaming lobbyists. The investigation had prompted a grand jury when a bill to regulate and tax the electronic bingo casinos had been launched. The Senate had passed the bill, but the House was less than welcoming – a vote had not even been reached.

Lobbyists had allegedly contacted Sanford, an opponent to the bill, and offered him $250,000 in campaign donations from gambling interests, provided they knew where he was located in the gambling spectrum. Attorneys for the lobbyist have denied the offer.

The issue over gambling in Alabama has been one of hot debate, due in part to Governor Riley’s anti-gambling task force and general ill disposition on the gambling industry. Raids had been enacted, local economies impacted, and gamblers left without choices.

In a debate writhe with controversy, the regulation of Alabama online gambling had never once been brought to light. As one of the few industries to demand taxation and regulation, gambling, particularly in the online sector of the industry, could generate much needed revenue for the federal and states’ governments.

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