Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Sen. Hank Erwin speaks on gambling

Months ago, anyone could drive around the Alabama highways and see flashing lights advertising bingo, but now those lights have been dimmed in many areas across the state.

State Sen. Hank Erwin, a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, spoke on the issue Monday. Erwin said he was opposed to gambling — and many times it comes in the form of bingo.

“On Tuesday, the Senate will prepare for an ‘Armageddon’ of the Republicans standing for the rule of law versus the Democrats fighting for the people’s right to vote,” he said.

Erwin said that the game of bingo is not illegal, but when the slot machine is attached to the game it makes it a different case.

While the Democrats support a statewide vote, Erwin said he opposes that for two main reasons.

“The advertising campaign is designed to manipulate the people because it shows all the people who have lost their jobs,” he said.

He said they also have not received a large plea in Montgomery from the people saying that they want to vote on the issue.

“The desire to vote is not coming from the people; it is coming from desperate gamblers who want gambling deemed legal,” he said.

Erwin said many of the economic benefits that gambling alleges is a scam, citing the statistic that for every $1 that gambling makes $3 go out of the state.

“If you take one slot machine and leave it there for the day, it can make about $150, so imagine if you have 6,000 on your property,” he said.

He said this money could be used for mortgages, schools and roads, but instead it is going out of our state.

Erwin said this issue should be important to students and graduates, because it will be the compelling issue of the time period.

The College Republicans hosted the event. Attendee Jeff Elrod, a freshman majoring in political science, said he’s always stayed up-to-date on issues and has developed his own opinion about the matter.

“I have worked with Erwin since August, so in hearing him speak it has helped to strength my views,” he said.

Elrod said he decided to support Erwin because he wanted to elect someone who would bring back the type of government the people deserve.

“Alabama has been ranked the fourth most corrupt state in the nation, and I wanted to support someone who would change the way things have been in the past,” he said.

Jesse Ochocki, a senior majoring in political science said that he has been working on Erwin’s campaign since August and has learned a lot about the issue of gambling as well as politics.

“I didn’t know that the slot machine was a component that made the bingo halls illegal,” he said. “I was also astonished by the number of machines in Alabama.”

Ochocki said he feels the marketing campaigns for gambling that portray the angle of the job loss does not showcase the real issues.

“In my time spent with Erwin I have gained a lot of experience, and learned a lot about how politics works,” he said.

More to Discover