|A bill passed by the state House of Representatives that would allow courses in gambling to be offered in Mississippi universities and two-year colleges will not be voted on in the state senate in this legislative session. Senator Terry Burton, the Senate Universities and Colleges Committee Chairman, said the bill to abolish the state's ban on gaming classes will not be taken up in his key committee. If not acted upon, the bill will die, and so too the chance for learning about gaming at a college level, in an academic environment.|
'There is so much misunderstanding about what the bill does,' said Senator Burton, a Democrat from Newton, Mississippi. 'House Bill 940 has been considered at the Capitol in recent years, often running into problems in the Senate, amid strong opposition from the Mississippi Baptist Convention and other church organizations. Such groups say it's wrong for public colleges and universities to use taxpayer dollars to teach gaming classes.'
State Senator Tommy Gollot, a Democrat from Biloxi, said: '... It's a terrible thing that we can't teach these courses on the Gulf Coast.'
Jimmy Porter, the Executive Director of the Mississippi Baptist Convention's Christian Action Commission, said: 'What you are doing is familiarizing students with an industry that can be quite devastating to their future.'
But the bill's supporters argue that gaming is a fast growing industry in Mississippi and such classes in gaming at college level would help the industry.