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Court rules against bingo operator in seizure case
By Ala. court questions legality of electronic bingo
Montgomery, AL – - The Alabama Supreme Court has dealt
electronic bingo a setback in a case from White Hall that
questioned the legality of the popular gambling machines.
In a 6-3 decision Friday, the court struck down a preliminary
injunction that kept the Governor's Task Force on Illegal Gambling
from conducting another raid on White Hall Resort and Entertainment
Center, 20 miles west of Montgomery.
The court did not make a final determination on the legality of
electronic bingo throughout Alabama, but the majority of the
justices questioned the legality of the games used in White Hall.
Gov. Bob Riley called the decision a victory in his battle to
shut down the machines.
Attorneys for the White Hall gambling hall and the charity that
operate said the court's decision applies only to the machines
seized in White Hall.
The court case stemmed from a task force raid on the White Hall
gambling center in March and seizure of 105 gambling machines and
more than $500,000 in cash.
The charitable organization that operates the facility,
Cornerstone Community Outreach, argued that the machines were legal
electronic bingo games. The group persuaded a judge to issue a
preliminary injunction against future raids. The preliminary
injunction also required the task force to return the machines and
cash seized in the raid.
The governor appealed to the state Supreme Court. The state's
highest court put the preliminary injunction on hold in April and
reversed it Friday.
The court said Cornerstone failed to demonstrate that it had a
reasonable likelihood of showing that seized machines "constituted
the game of bingo."