Does Florala need BINGO? Minister says ‘no’

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 14, 2010

First Baptist Church of Andalusia’s pastor, Dr. Fred Karthaus, said the subject of electronic bingo is not just about being a sin, it’s about being against the law.

Last year, Karthaus spoke before the Covington County Commission on behalf of the Covington Baptist Association. At the time, he urged the commission to pass rules making electronic bingo illegal in the county.

“The thought of electronic bingo being available in our community concerns me and many others in the county,” Karthaus said. “We’re at a point where our courts have made it clear concerning the legality of these machines, yet the leadership in Florala seems to be ignoring that.”

Karthaus said, “yet for whatever reason,” there seems to be an effort from the gaming industry to set this up in our state.

“(The gaming industry is) not interested in the improvement of our community, they just want a location to set up their games,” he said. “It’s all about the money. The money they will be making will not stay in our community as some of our local leaders think. Bringing the gaming industry into our community is like bringing in a huge vacuum cleaner that sucks up our money, then hands back a few dollars and says ‘thank you.’”

Karthaus cited the phrase, “You can¹t legislate morality.”

“And that’s correct,” he said. “But it is the responsibility of our government and leaders to preserve and protect its citizens. We have laws concerning behavior. It’s against the law to murder someone and to steal.

“Yet we don’t repeal these laws or say that an individual has a choice to murder or steal,” he said. “Now, we have industries that would steal our money through illegal gambling and citizens are saying we have a right to gamble.

“No we don’t. It’s against the law in our state.”