Alabamians play bingo.
Alabamians bet on football games (and virtually every other sport).
Alabamians bet on the stock market.
Alabamians cross state lines to play neighboring lotteries. At last check, the lottery outlet across the line on Interstate 20 was the most active in Georgia.
Alabamians head for the casinos in Mississippi.
And Alabamians gamble at Indian casinos here at home — when they aren’t being raided.
Did we miss any?
Last week, the Calhoun-Cleburne County Drug and Violent Crime Task Force raided a house on Anniston’s Roll Tide Road that was suspected of being a “gambling house,” which it was.
When they arrived, authorities found 16 working slot machines and card tables. Patrons, too.
On a good night, the owner told the arresting officers, he could take home around $2,000, The Star reported.
Though clearly illegal, the existence of such an establishment is not surprising. As we mentioned at the outset, Alabamians gamble.
What is disturbing, apart from the lawbreaking, is that the Alabama operation has links to a gambling ring in Georgia, so it is likely that the seized machines will soon be replaced and somewhere in the county a new “gambling house” will open.
Meanwhile, the Roll Tide Road proprietor will pay fines totaling less than what a good night brings in and he, or another proprietor, will likely soon be back in operation.
When and if the state Legislature again debates whether to legalize, regulate and tax gambling in Alabama, the operation on Roll Tide Road should be cited as an example of what is already here.