International edition
September 19, 2020

IGT, Bally and Multimedia Games

Electronic bingo machines leave Alabama

(US).- Three international gaming equipment companies have reached an agreement with Attorney General Luther Strange to pull their electronic bingo machines out of the state. IGT, Bally and Multimedia Games signed agreements with the attorney general to remove their machines from the state within 60 days.

T

he agreement, which does not apply to the three Creek Indian casinos in the state

Allows them to get their equipment out of the state without risking seizure by the Attorney General's Office, and it gives them the opportunity to move the machines that have been sitting unused to locations where they could make money.

 

"We let them know very clearly what our position was. Our opinion about these machines is that they are illegal slot machines, and they don't meet the definition of bingo under Alabama law," Strange said.

 

 Most of the bingo machines played in the state are owned by those gaming companies and leased to casino owners for a share of the revenue. Additionally, Cadillac Jack and Hest Technology have notified the Attorney General's Office that they already have removed their machines.

 

Strange said that, under the agreement, the gaming companies do not concede they did anything illegal in Alabama.

 

J. Mark White, attorney for one of the casinos, VictoryLand in Macon County, said he could not comment on agreements he hadn't seen, "and we have not seen any agreements between the AG and the machine companies."

 

"The last thing we heard from the attorney general is that he wanted to resolve this issue in an orderly manner with a court hearing on the legality of the electronic bingo machines," White said. "We are aware of his letter to the companies, of course, and we have heard that he is trying to force the companies to take their machines out of the state even though he has failed to prove or provide credible independent evidence that the machines are illegal."

 

The casinos, including VictoryLand and Country Crossing in Houston County, closed after attempted raids by former Governor Bob Riley's gambling task force, which used state troopers to try to shut down the facilities. Riley said the slot-machine look-alikes were not what was intended by Alabama laws allowing charities to operate bingo games.

 

Electronic bingo operators have contended the games are allowed under the charity bingo laws and that technology allows bingo to be played on the whirring flashing machines.  

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