Electronic Bingo Amendment passes out of committee with small changes

Senator Bobby Singleton contacted the Democrat this week to advise that Senate Bill 340, which amends and changes electronic bingo in Greene County, had been approved in the Senate Tourism Committee and was scheduled for a vote on the floor of the full Senate on next Tuesday, April 5, 2016.
Singleton said State Representative Artis McCampbell was moving the bill in the House of Representatives for passage by the full body.
Singleton said that he and McCampbell had made some small changes in SB 340 based on discussions with legislators and other community leaders who contacted them about the bill.
“We changed the section on the composition of the new Greene County Gaming Commission. There will still be five members. One selected by the Governor and the remaining four by the Legislative delegation. We removed the one to be appointed by the 7th District Congressperson. This means that three or four will be from Greene County,” said Singleton.
“We met with Senator Sanders and he explained the court ordered settlement agreed between the Sheriff and the County Commission. We have adjusted the percentages for the Greene County Commission to be compatible with this court order,” said Singleton.
We did not make any other changes in the bill, which still provides for electronic bingo only at a racetrack facility licensed for pari-mutuel wagering in the county. Only Greenetrack qualifies under this definition. The other facilities licensed by the Sheriff would have to close under the current language in SB 340.
Singleton says, “We really designed this bill to support Greene County residents and owners. We are concerned that some of these facilities have out-of-town owners who drain money out of the county. They do not provide living wages and fringe benefits to their employees. We are looking at the quality of the Greenetrack facility – not the quantity of other facilities which have not benefited Greene County.
Former Greene County Commissioner William “Nick” Underwood, who is an attorney associated with the River’s Edge Bingo operation writes a letter to the editor this week (see page 4) wherein he disputes Singleton and McCampbell’s rationale for SB 340.

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