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State shuts down four Jefferson County electronic bingo halls

The Alabama Attorney General’s Office and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) on Tuesday raided four electronic bingo halls in Jefferson County, seizing well over 1,000 pieces of allegedly illegal gaming equipment.

Spin It and Win It Bingo in Graysville, the Fun-N-Games Arcade in Brighton, the Super Highway Bingo in Brighton and Southwind Bingo in Midfield were shut down by state law enforcement agents executing search warrants.

A statement from the attorney general’s office on Tuesday afternoon explained, “The involvement of state law enforcement was necessary due to the opening of multiple facilities offering illegal electronic games and the failure of local law enforcement to enforce the law.”

Several people were arrested and charged with multiple counts of promoting gambling and possession of illegal gambling devices pursuant to the execution of the search warrants. The names of the individuals cannot be released at this time by law enforcement officials.

The warrants also culminated in the seizure of over 1,100 electronic bingo machines, records and an unspecified amount of currency. The seized machines will be held as evidence and will be subject to a forfeiture procedure filed in Jefferson County Circuit Court.

The Attorney General’s Office advised that this action “was taken as part of an ongoing and multifaceted criminal investigation.”

The Alabama Supreme Court has definitively ruled that electronic bingo machines are illegal in the state. Marshall has explained that they are “slot machines.”

Marshall has been at odds with Jefferson County Sheriff Mark Pettway in recent weeks over the issue, with the state’s top law enforcement official accusing the sheriff of not enforcing the law.

Yellowhammer News previously reported that the sheriff’s brother, Bruce Pettway, had been permitted to operate electronic bingo by the City of Graysville. That business license has since been canceled and refunded.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn