A judge in the gambling corruption scandal taking place over in Alabama has granted a casino lobbyist probation for her part in the case, as she hands over two other major players in order to save herself after pleading guilty. Although it had been recommended that she face jail time, US District Judge Keith Watkins allowed Jennifer Pouncy some leniency on the back of her testimony.
Pouncy was sentenced to three years of probation, one hundred hours of community service, and a fee of $4100 to cover fines and court costs at a hearing in Montgomery this week. She said that she only agreed to help offer the bribes to state senators, which amounted to more than $2 million, in order to keep her job of $60,000 a year. She was working for the Country Crossing casino in their fight for pro gambling legislation, in the midst of a dispute around whether or not electronic bingo casinos should be allowed to continue operating.
Pouncy said “I wish I was stronger” in court, which no doubt caught the judge’s sympathy despite the fact of the prosecution demanding that she face jail time. He was impressed by the fact that she kept her promise to both plead guilty and cooperate with the investigation, even after the offer of probation was withdrawn by federal prosecutors, and he decided to award it to her anyway. Since she was only a minor player involved in organising the bribes rather than one of the people who planned them, he did not feel the need to punish her so harshly. She was also instrumental in making sure that Jarrod Massey and Ronnie Gilley offered guilty pleas and testified at two federal court trials.
We hate to be the kind of people that repeat ourselves often, but it seems like just about every casino based problem you hear at the moment could have been sold with relaxed laws and the introduction of online casinos. Since everyone is getting access to them anyway and there is really no way to regulate them properly, it would be so much easier for local governments to just admit that this is the case and allow them to go ahead – thus cutting out all of these ridiculous disputes as money hungry land based casinos fight over every single type of game that they might be allowed to provide.