JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - An order to about 30 bingo halls in the Birmingham-Jefferson County area could have them packing up soon. "I'm going to give them ten days to pack up and leave the county," Brandon Falls, Jefferson Co. District Attorney says.
Falls says a state constitutional amendment allows for bingo gaming in Jefferson County. But, a recent federal court ruling in North Alabama says all of the money generated from the gaming hall need to go to the charities which they support. Hall says that is not happening in Jefferson County."When someone operates a bingo operation as a casino, as far as a non-profit operation, they lose protection of that amendment,"Falls said.
This news is not welcomed by some supporters of bingo."I feel it's great. Alabama has been against gambling. We are one of the poorer states. People drive to places to spend money, let's put their money in here," Brandy Haymie said.
Others say there are bingo halls which are not giving all of their money to charities. "Got a couple of guy who started off they didn't have nothing. Now, they are driving Cadillacs. You know they are lining their pockets," J.W. Hall said.
A number of Jefferson County cities, including the city of Birmingham are considering legalizing bingo as a way to generate tax dollars. Falls say they should reconsider. "My message to them is persevere and don't turn to bingo as a cure all for your ills. What is going on here is illegal activity," Falls says.