The Alabama Supreme Court delivered a major blow to illegal gambling in last Friday’s ruling in the case of State v. Epic Tech, LLC.
The state’s high court ruled in favor of Attorney General Steve Marshall in declaring the operations of Victoryland in Lowndes County, along with Southern Star and White Hall Casinos in Macon County, to be illegal gaming enterprises.
Friday’s ruling effectively decided that the respective “electric bingo” operations were forms of illegal video-slot-machine gambling, according to the attorney general’s office.
In a statement hailing the court’s decision, Marshall detailed his office’s efforts to combat in-state gaming operations disguised as legal bingo.
“The Alabama Supreme Court’s opinion makes clear what my office has maintained from the start: these gambling enterprises are not only patently illegal under Alabama law, but also a menace to public health, morals, safety, and welfare,” said Marshall. “[This] decision will forbid the Southern Star, White Hall, and Victoryland casinos from offering their slot-machine gambling to the public.
“In the five years since I filed lawsuits to cease illegal gambling in five different counties across the state, I have prevailed in court against one deep-pocketed gambling enterprise after another: in 2017, against the River City casino in Morgan County; in 2018, against the Center Stage casino in Houston County; and [now] against the Southern Star and White Hall casinos in Lowndes County and the Victoryland casino in Macon County.”
The court’s ruling marked the second defeat for Alabama gambling enterprises over the past three months.
In June, Marshall was successful in making the state’s case against the operations of Greenetrack in Eutaw. The state’s high court ordered Greenetrack to pay $76 million in unpaid taxes and interest owed to the Alabama Department of Revenue.
Greenetrack, Alabama’s second oldest dog track, has since closed its electronic bingo operations.
Dylan Smith is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL