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November 2, 2012
For More Information, contact:
Luther Strange
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
Alabama Attorney General
Suzanne Webb (334) 242-7351
Jeff Sommer (334) 353-2199
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(MONTGOMERY) – Attorney General Luther Strange announced that a search warrant
was served today at Southern Star casino in Lowndes County by law enforcement agents from
the Attorney General’s Office and the Alabama Department of Public Safety. The Lowndes
County Sheriff also provided security for the execution of the search warrant. This law
enforcement action was taken in response to illegal gambling operations. The search warrant
was served this morning at Southern Star casino in White Hall.
“Today’s actions are the culmination of an investigative process over the last several
months,” said Attorney General Strange. “From my first day in office, I have worked to ensure
that illegal gambling laws are enforced consistently across the state.”
As a result of the Attorney General’s efforts, the country’s largest gambling machine
manufacturers removed their machines from Alabama last year, including the removal of all
gambling machines at the shuttered White Hall Entertainment Center casino, located just a
short distance from the Southern Star in the town of White Hall. The Southern Star casino,
however, opened earlier this year with so-called “electronic bingo” machines that state law
enforcement agents determined were illegal.
The search warrant served today culminated in the seizure of more than 350 machines
and an undisclosed amount of cash from Southern Star. These machines, along with the seized
money, will be held as evidence and will be subject to a forfeiture procedure in the Circuit
Court of Lowndes County.
“Until the Alabama Legislature acts to create an effective deterrent for large scale illegal
gambling, individuals will continue to engage in illegal gambling activity and openly defy the
law. These individuals stand to make millions of dollars in illegal gambling profits while
risking only a slap-on-the-wrist misdemeanor charge. Law enforcement will continue to be
forced to expend valuable resources to deal with the statewide problem, as we have recently
seen in Walker County and Etowah County. The Legislature must change that weakness in our
law and create a badly needed deterrent for large scale illegal gambling by increasing the
penalty for operating an illegal slot machine casino to a felony,” said Attorney General Strange.
501 Washington Avenue Montgomery, AL 36104 (334) 242-7300