by Max Brantley
Alabama is roiling with a gambling debate that, it occurs to me, could migrate to these precincts. Alabama has legal charity bingo, as Arkansas does. Ever looking for more efficient ways to separate gamblers from their money, bingo operators there have put bingo games on electronic machines. Call them slot machines for simplicity's sake.
Oh, yes. The bingo operators have found many ways to evade the supposed constitutional restrictions that made bingo just a little ol' modest moneymaker for churches and American Legion halls.
Don't think for a minute somebody in Arkansas isn't working on this right now. You've seen the rigamarole to game the system in Arkansas:
The terminals certainly look like slot machines, but supporters say there are differences. First, there has to be more than one player. The machines are connected to a single server, which acts like a bingo caller; at the push of a button, the server calls a whole game of bingo at once, and the machine marks the virtual card for the player. If the server’s combination matches the pattern on a player’s card, the player wins.