A judge's ruling apparently clears the way for more than one hundred electronic bingo machines seized in a 2009 state raid to be destroyed. Circuit Judge Robert Vance has issued a final determination regarding the gambling devices seized during a raid on White Hall Casino located in Lowndes County. The now-defunct Task Force on Illegal Gambling confiscated the machines and over $500,000 cash. The money has already been forfeited to the Attorney General's office.
Four manufacturers, following a long court battle, agreed to the destruction of the machines. The slot machine manufacturers include AGS, Inc., Eclipse Gaming, Inc., Bally Gaming, Inc., and Nova Gaming, LLC. Judge Vance held that "the State is entitled to the relief sought in the complaint, namely the forfeiture and condemnation of the 'Gambling Devices' identified therein. The State may promptly make the arrangements necessary for the destruction of such devices."
"Today the trial court ordered that the gambling devices seized at the White Hall casino in 2009 are to be destroyed pursuant to Alabama law," Attorney General Luther Strange said. "This is exactly what the State has sought all along and I am pleased that this controversy was successfully resolved in the courts."
Strange also said he hopes Judge Vance's order would help end the attempts of organized gambling to bring illegal slot machines into the state. "Since I took Office, I have worked hard to end illegal gambling in an orderly fashion through the court system. Today is a significant step in that direction. The slot-machine manufacturers' willingness to consent to this forfeiture judgment should end this controversy once and for all, not only in Lowndes County, but throughout the State," Attorney General Strange said. "There is no reasonable argument that these so-called 'electronic bingo' machines are legal anywhere in Alabama, and these manufacturers have effectively admitted as much by consenting to this judgment."
A pending case in Houston County will determine the legality of machine and cash seizure that occurred this past summer at Center Stage Alabama located in Houston County.
Click on video above to see agents raid White Hall.