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March 9, 2012
For More Information, contact:
Luther Strange
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
Alabama Attorney General
Suzanne Webb (334) 242-7351
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(MONTGOMERY) – In the wake of several announcements made by the owners of
shuttered casinos that they will reopen, Attorney General Luther Strange pledged that his
office will be vigilant in enforcing the rule of law as prescribed by the Alabama Supreme
Court. He also provided fair warning to anyone planning to operate a so-called “electronic
bingo” casino, and pledged that the Attorney General’s Office will not allow the State of
Alabama to spiral back into the gambling problems of the past.
“This is not about whether I believe gambling is good or bad,” said Attorney
General Strange. “This is about the rule of law, pure and simple. When the Alabama
Supreme Court makes a ruling, it is my job and my duty to uphold the rule of law. The
Alabama Supreme Court has been crystal clear about what is legal in Alabama when it
comes to so-called ‘electronic bingo’,” said Attorney General Luther Strange.
“The only form of bingo authorized by any amendment to the Alabama Constitution
is the traditional game commonly known as bingo. The six mandatory characteristics of
bingo set forth by the Alabama Supreme Court in the 2010 Cornerstone case, which plainly
requires that the human elements of the traditional game of bingo must be fully preserved
in order for a game to potentially qualify as legal bingo, will be strictly followed. Slot
machines and other illegal gambling devices cannot be used to play bingo, period. My
office, along with other state and local law enforcement agencies, has been aggressive in
investigating and shutting down illegal gambling operations since I took office in January
2011, and absolutely nothing has changed,” said Attorney General Strange.
“Bingo operators have tried to create confusion in the law but no one should be
confused about my commitment and duty to enforce the law. Those currently engaged in
illegal gambling activities or contemplating opening an illegal gambling facility under the
guise of so-called ‘electronic bingo’ in defiance of Alabama law should be aware that this
office will continue to enforce the law.” said Attorney General Strange.
“Finally, the bingo amendments to the Alabama Constitution require that gambling
proceeds must go to bona fide charities. For-profit casinos that rake in millions of dollars
from Alabama’s poorest citizens are not charities under any definition of the term. There is
no back door loophole in our gambling laws for anyone to make a handsome profit off the
backs of charities through thinly veiled shams or gimmicks,” said Attorney General Luther
501 Washington Avenue Montgomery, AL 36104 (334) 242-7300