Escambia County Pensacola Politics

Bingo casino fight

February 22, 2010

The state of Alabama is fighting over bingo casinos. Many of the players on the pro-gambling side are the same ones involved in Keefer/Valentino plan to bring bingo casinos to Perdido Key.

According to the Mobile Press Register, “The heavy artillery is rolling out in Alabama’s bingo war, with recent ads blasting gambling supporters as Mafia dons and opponents as Nazi storm troopers” Read more.

Thank goodness, cooler heads prevailed and the bingo casino for the Key was stopped. While Commissioner Gene Valentino may have had good intentions – job creation, tax revenue and economic growth- the issue of gambling in Escambia County needed to be more publicly debated and considered. Bingo casinos – in Alabama at least – are far from becoming the norm.

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  • Mark Clabaugh March 18, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Could not find skeletons, may I respectfully remind you Lori that he paid a fine for some of his violations and I contend that if the State Attorney’s Office was not so consumed with the Billings Case it could have been worse.

    Furthermore, this is the flawed mentality of our area. Is bingo halls and poker rooms the only economical development we can aspire for? Is this what we are relegated to here in Escambia County? I have repeated over and over that it is much easier to open a bar than a factory in this town.

    Everytime a decent business attempts to use the port, they have to fight to do so!!! Can you imagine that, fighting to bring your business here and higher employees at an above average pay!! It’s obserd.

    Take a look at the training center we were to develop, PJC in conjunction with the Sheriff’s department were to build a 1st class training facility which would host people from all over the state in the north end of the county. This was PAID for mostly from grants, it was to be staffed by the Junior college, then all of a sudden because it was not the Sheriff’s idea — Poof.

    Our city and county blows more money on non-sense than any place on earth. If they were smart, they would be purchasing large swaths of land to the north, offering tax encentives until it pains them and marketing our area to bring in big business. Something that pays a living wage. Where are those efforts?

    Please, do not say Poker Rooms and Bingo in the same sentence as jobs and careers. You will not be sending your kids to college or retiring on that pay. Furthermore, those establishments do not create anything therefore do not build local wealth, they are a drain the local economy reducing the amount cash available for true viable commerce.

    OK … they do generate additional tax dollars. But ask yourself, where did those dollars come from then read the paragraph above again.

  • Lori Wood March 18, 2010 at 7:00 am

    Has the battle for a bingo casino in Perdido Key really been stopped? Job creation, tax revenue and economic growth are exactly what we need. A few residence hire a lawyer to make “false accusations” against the Commissioner who was spearheading this project and even though the States Atty could not find any skeletons in Commissioner Valentino’s the accusations remain fresh in many minds. Kudos to Gene for trying to bring some revenue into our crippled economy.