Uncertainty Clouds Reopening Of Gambling Hall In Alabama

May 31st, 2010 – by Glen Farmer

The gambling industry in Alabama has been mired with confusion and a consistent threat of legal interdiction, and one casino seems to have been, as they would put it, bullied more than others. Country Crossing, one of the most popular of the casinos in the state, has been shut down for some time, and when it will reopen has been left as a great unknown.

According to their front page, Country Crossing will be keeping its doors closed to protect the patrons and employees of the casino. Despite continuous assurance to authorities that their games are the legal bingo machines as laid out by the courts, the threat of a raid by the Governor’s Task Force on Illegal Gambling remains a strong possibility, if not a future reality.

Employment provided by Country Crossing numbered over 1,000. Due to the closure of the gambling hall, most of these people are considered “temporary layoffs.” Though they have been put out of work, the Alabama government has made it a point to inform these people that unemployment benefits are available for those who have been stricken and left out of work.

Some players have also taken a slight hit to the wallet. Those who have winning vouchers from the casino have 180 days from the day which they are printed in order to cash these vouchers in. Those who had not cashed in their vouchers, ones that face expiration, may not be valid by the time the casino reopens. Country Crossing has made it a point to inform players that, upon the reopening of their gambling hall, vouchers printed on January 28th or 29th will be redeemable even after expiration. January 29th was the day that Country Crossing had closed its doors in order to impose a block against the raid that was set to be executed against their gambling establishment.

The upcoming gubernatorial race is likely to be based heavily on a platform of gambling. Ron Sparks, a Democratic candidate for governor, has stated that one of the first things he will do if elected is that of reopening Country Crossing, dismantling the anti-gambling task force, reinstating the lost jobs from former employees of Country Crossing, and putting forth a vote that would allow residents to make their own choice whether the bingo gambling industry will be regulated and taxed within the state.

Alabama online gambling has not been affected by the Governor’s Task Force.

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