Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall released a statement Monday praising law enforcement officials in Walker County for their “swift and decisive action” to close newly-established electronic bingo halls.
“Alabama law is crystal clear,” Marshall said. “Electronic bingo and coin slot machines are illegal. No matter what the operators of these unlawful enterprises claim, the Alabama Supreme Court has definitively and repeatedly ruled that electronic bingo and coin slot machines are illegal gaming devices. There is no debate, there is no ambiguity. As the Supreme Court stated on March 31, 2016, all that is left to do is to enforce the law.”
“I wish to personally commend Walker County Sheriff Nick Smith and his department, as well as Walker County District Attorney Bill Adair, for taking swift and decisive action to close illegal bingo parlors under their jurisdiction. As sworn law enforcement officers, our first duty is to enforce the law. When illegal activity is unchallenged and allowed to thrive, our state’s entire legal system is undermined,” he added.
As detailed by Daily Mountain Eagle, local officials “raided one business in the Jasper area on Friday afternoon, confiscating about 40 electronic bingo machines.”
This came after the sheriff’s office made contact with known facilities in Carbon Hill and gave them an opportunity to cease their operations before raids, arrests and charges began.
Smith reportedly is seeking charges against employees and those behind the operation of “Skill Games,” the facility that was raided pursuant to a search warrant. The sheriff said they wanted to act before their illegal gaming problem became as large in “magnitude” as what Jefferson County currently faces.
In his statement, Marshall warned other areas across Alabama to handle their local business according to the laws of the state.
“Should local agencies in other jurisdictions fail to enforce State laws on gambling, my office will take action as needed to hold the perpetrators accountable,” the attorney general concluded.
You can see pictures from the Walker County raid here.
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn