Raids Anger Alabama Bingo Players
For our European friends, particularly those in Great Britain, it is hard to understand why any government official would be against people playing bingo games. In the state of Alabama the Attorney General has made a career of raiding casinos offering electronic bingo games. The crusade against bingo has been going on for years and was started by Former Alabama governor Bob Riley. Attorney General Luther Strange has continued the vendetta despite widespread opposition. In December one well known casino, VictoryLand, reopened with electronic bingo machines designed to conform to the legal description of bingo in Alabama.
That wasn't good enough for Strange and in late February he wasted even more taxpayer dollars raiding the casino and seizing over 1,000 electronic bingo machines and a large amount of cash. The raid put about 600 people out of work in an area with high unemployment. Not surprisingly the state's Supreme Court dominated by far right Republicans agreed with the raids and issued a 46 page opinion that said the specially designed bingo machines were in reality slot machines which are illegal at non-tribal casinos. In an unprecedented move Strange approached the Supreme Court for a search warrant for VictoryLand after a local judge turned him down. The Attorney General's office cited a case from 1899 to overturn the Macon County Judge's refusal to issue a search warrant.
A poll showed that 78% of Alabama residents disapprove of Strange's ongoing vendetta against electronic bingo. Local politicians were incensed and expressed their disapproval. Strange is also asking the Macon County judge to step aside from the VictoryLand case because he is 'prejudiced' against the state's 'evidence.' Strange cited Macon County Judge Tom Young Jr.'s refusal to issue a search warrant. Strange wants a friendly judge to decide whether the state can keep the money seized in the raid and destroy the electronic bingo machines.
In another stunning move Strange filed a frivolous lawsuit against the Poarch Band of Creek Indians who operate several casinos in the state. In the past the tribe has contributed about $100,000 to Strange's election campaigns. Many Alabama residents view Strange's actions as a puritanical attack on individual liberty, Native American rights and job creation in the state. Strange has spent millions of taxpayer dollars pursuing his vendetta against bingo. Electronic bingo fans in Alabama have an alternative; online bingo. Players can log on to their favorite bingo site free from the prying eyes of government officials.
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