8:52am

Tue March 31, 2009
WVAS Local

Battle Over White Hall Gambling Center Goes to Alabama Supreme Court

Montgomery, Alabama – The fight over the White Hall gambling center is going to the Alabama Supreme Court.

Governor Bob Riley is asking the state's top court to block a ruling by former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Mark Kennedy that allowed the facility to reopen.

The Governor says Kennedy's ruling should be thrown out because Kennedy had worked in the past for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians which operates three gambling halls in the state.

Kennedy was assigned to the case because the Lowndes County circuit court judges were unavailable when the group that operates the White Hall gambling center challenged a raid that shut it down on March 19th.

At issue is the claim by the Governor's office that more than 100 machines seized during a raid are illegal bingo machines or illegal slot machines.

Kennedy said last week that he would handle the preliminary matters in the case - which included determining whether the gambling center could re-ope. Kennedy said he would then turn the case over to another judge.

An attorney representing the charity that operates White Hall, Bobby Segall, says the governor's attorneys have been trying to delay the case and haven't met the burden necessary to remove Kennedy.