Bill to Limit Video Bingo Machines Fails in a House Committee

A bill to limit the number of video bingo machines in the state, either by a vote of the people or by the local government, failed to spin out of a House committee Wednesday afternoon.

Senator Mike Michot of Lafayette says his bill would allow the people of each parish to stop gambling in their parishes.

He says as it is now only local governments can put a stop to video poker.

We have 47 of these machines here in Baton Rouge, but Representative Eric LaFleur of Ville Platte says the bill is not about stopping gambling, it's about limiting competition and reducing the number of charities that would profit from the machines.

He says, "After August 15th is what I'm asking Mr. Murray, just answer the question! I'm not trying to be belligerent here."

Senator Michot says, "It's my original intent to support the vote of the people when the people decided they wanted video poker out of their parishes and I think this machine finds a loophole in the law."

With a vote of 7-2, Michot's bill got deferred, so video bingo machines can continue to come in to the state. Supporters of Michot's bill say this issue is not dead, and that they will continue to fight to reduce video bingo machines in the future.