Jefferson County demands new bingo permits

By WBRC staff

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Questions remained Friday over the legality of a new permit delivered this week to bingo operators in Jefferson County.

Jefferson County District Attorney Arthur Green said he consulted with Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale on developing the new permit application, which was delivered to bingo charities across the county this week.  The permit requires full disclosure of the money raised and where the money goes.

The permit also demands the bingo hall have only one charity and restricts the bingo hall to only two days of gaming.

Green said he does not believe most of the businesses will comply.

"They are not in compliance with a charity," Green said. "They are making money. Otherwise, why are the so rampant? Giving money to charity? I don't think so."

Jim Stevens, an attorney who represents bingo charities, said this permit will hurt those charities.

"It's not worth it," Stevens said.  "These games are expensive. They cost a lot of money and for them to to put it into operations, if they can operate only two days a week, they couldn't make enough money."

Stevens said there are constitutional questions over the law which Sheriff Hale is using to demand the permits. The charities have 30 days to comply or they will be declared illegal, operating without a permit.

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