Commission should nix electronic bingo

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dear Editor,

In recent days it has been made quite clear through The Andalusia Star-News and WAAO that our county commission chairman appears to have had a change of heart concerning the current issue of electronic bingo in Covington County.

He is quoted as saying, “It’s my personal conviction — the deepest thing — that (electronic bingo is) not right.” Acting on his personal conviction, he has announced that he will call for a motion to be made to ban electronic bingo in Covington County at the next county commission meeting.

The current response of Mr. Sasser is a display of courage. He has announced his position to all the citizens of Covington County and has chosen to do what he understands is right and “legal.” Now is the time for our other commissioners to go “on the record” and announce their “convictions” concerning electronic bingo. If a man is not willing to state where he stands on an issue, then his silence infers that he condones whatever actions have taken place.

These men find themselves in the middle of a difficult situation. Every option must be explored to remedy our current economic crisis. Yet, some options promise great returns at the expense of long-term damage to our community. Electronic bingo is such an option. The price that our county would pay for such a remedy would far exceed the temporary benefits it might produce.

The electronic bingo option puts our county in a position where the gaming company wins and ultimately the citizens of Covington County lose. Not to mention that electronic bingo is “illegal” in our state and our county. Why can we not seek to find a solution where Covington County wins without giving any portion of our money to the gaming companies? When our commissioners meet again on June 22, it is my hope they will have the courage to ban electronic bingo and search for much healthier ways to aid our county.

Dr. Fred W. Karthaus III

Pastor, First Baptist Church of Andalusia