Alabama Cracks Down on Electronic Bingo Machines

Publish: 15.10.2017

Alabama Attorney General has filed lawsuits against five casinos in the Cotton State over their use of electronic bingo machines.

Steve Marshall, who took over the position of Attorney General back in February, said the electronic bingo machines were illegal in the state, and that their distribution had to be prevented as soon as possible.

End of a Truce

This move marks the end of the two-year truce between the casino operators and the state of Alabama. Although officially illegal, casinos operated electronic bingo machines during this period without any restrictions whatsoever.

The casinos managed to bypass the ban, claiming the electronic bingo machines work under different principles than slot machines, and can’t be classified as such. Slot machines are also prohibited in Alabama, as well as Las Vegas-style gambling in general.

To be honest, the federal law does make a distinction between the two, but that didn’t stop the Alabama Supreme Court from issuing several rulings that electronic bingo machines were indeed illegal, ordering their removal from casinos across the state.

Using Different Measures

Commenting his decision to sue the casinos, Attorney General Marshall said they were the result of ongoing investigations into the operations of those venues. Marshall added the owners were urged to close the casinos since they were breaching the current state law.

Alabama’s electronic bingo wars started back in 2009, when the stated raided many gambling venues, seising equipment and proceeds obtained from the machines.

Marshall decided to use different means this time, so instead of seising equipment and funds, he is suing not only the casinos, but also machine manufacturers, vendors, and even authorities who failed to act in time and stop the illegal operations across the state.

The five casinos in question are located in the Green, Macon, Lowndes, Houston, and Morgan counties in Alabama.