Electronic bingo to continue in Jefferson County

FAIRFIELD, AL (WBRC) - Tuesday was a victory for electronic bingo charities in the Bessemer Cutoff. Jefferson County District Attorney Arthur Green agreed to back off a Thursday deadline to shutdown or face having their machines seized.
            
Bamaco Bingo in Fairfield generates about $250 thousand for the charity the Knights of Pythias. "We provide jobs. We provide taxes for the government. Any money left over we give to charity," says W.A. Casey with the Knights of Pythias.

The mayor of Fairfield says the deadline would harm his city."We lose jobs. Revenue which we are desperately in need of now. We are looking for a great outcome so we can keep our city afloat," says Fairfield Mayor Kenneth Coachman.
         
Tuesday afternoon, Fairfield, bingo charities, and attorneys for machine manufacturers piled into a court hearing before Jefferson County Circuit Judge Eugene Verion. Michael Trucks, the city attorney for Fairfield argued without the bingo revenue the city would face bankruptcy and could be annexed into Birmingham. Still, Cutoff District Attorney Arthur Green calls the electronic bingo machines illegal.

"Because number one they are slot machines. You can't play bingo on slot machines. Number two I can't tell these people are playing bingo at all. Maybe they are, "Green said.
             
Attorneys for Fairfield and other bingo interests argued, Green must first determine if the machines are illegal before ordering them out of town. During an afternoon break, Green agreed and backed off of the deadline. A court hearing over the machines legality will be held in January. Mayor Coachman says this is only fair.""Right now you have Green County, Macon County, Lowdnes County operating with obstacles," Coachman said.