Bingo Operators Urge Lawmakers to Drop Tax

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Several lawmakers pledged today to try to repeal a tax on charitable bingo games that nonprofit groups say cut into money that would go toward helping others.

Representatives of Veterans of Foreign War and American Legion posts around the state urged legislators at a hearing to drop the tax and allow local officials to enforce the game's rules. Governor Beebe later said he's open to reviewing the tax but opposed to repealing it entirely.

The 1-cent tax on each bingo game card has been the biggest target of complaints from groups since the state legalized bingo and raffles for charitable purposes. Voters approved legalizing the games in 2006 and lawmakers last year approved the tax to help pay for enforcement of the new regulations.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)