The state of Alabama has successfully cracked down on illegal electronic bingo machines with the latest development in a battle going on for about ten years. A decision by the Alabama Supreme Court will force three casinos in the state to close operations.
Alabama Attorney General Wins the Fight Against Illegal Electronic Bingo Games
On September 10, the Alabama Supreme Court announced its decision in the case of the State versus Epic Tech, to ban Victoryland, Southern Star, and White Hall Casinos from continuing gambling operations.
Alabama attorney general Steve Marshall, who has been leading this fight for a number of years, rejoiced in the long-awaited significant victory: “The Alabama Supreme Court’s opinion makes clear what my office has maintained from the start: these gambling enterprises are not only patently illegal under Alabama law, but also a menace to public health, morals, safety, and welfare.”
Marshall also pointed out that slowly but surely the state has won all of the lawsuits against illegal gambling practices in Alabama. So far five counties have seen their casinos being ordered to cease operations.
First, in 2017 the attorney general’s office won against River City casino in Morgan County, later on, in 2018 the state prevailed against Center Stage casino in Houston County and the latest court decision is regarding casinos Southern Star and White Hall in Lowndes County and the Victoryland casino in Macon County.
According to the court decision, within 30 days the local circuit courts in the respective counties must issue orders stopping the offering of all electronic bingo games in their jurisdiction.
The Alabama State Has Been Battling Against Illegal Bingo Games for Over 10 Years
The issue with illegal electronic bingo games has been in circulation for over a decade. In 2009, court proceedings were started that eventually led to a court ruling in 2016 stipulating that the bingo games offered by casinos in different counties in Alabama do not correspond to the definition of a bingo game that is present in the state legislation.
The electronic bingo games offered at various casinos across Alabama counties actually resemble slot machines and, therefore, were deemed illegal by the Alabama Supreme Court.
Another major state victory against a gambling operator came to pass at the beginning of July. Non-profit bingo operator Greentrack lost a case against the attorney general office and is now obliged to pay $76 million of uncollected taxes from illegal operations.
The court battle lasted 11 years with Greentrack winning the lower court proceedings but later losing during the hearing at the Alabama Supreme Court.