Midfield bingo hall opens Monday

MIDFIELD, AL (WBRC) - Even as state troopers are waiting for permission to raid a big bingo hall, another Jefferson County city is opening its first bingo establishment.

The first bingo hall in the city of Midfield will open its doors Monday.

In late December, Midfield's city council spent hours going over the details of their new bingo law before passing it unanimously. Now, just weeks later, the first bingo hall is set to take advantage of the new opportunity by opening its doors in the former Winn-Dixie building on Bessemer Superhighway Monday.

"We're happy to have it," said Midfield City Councilman Reginald Wilson. "Some of the circumstances are controversial, but we're gonna try to use it the best way we can to make it positive anyway."

The city already has a $15,000 business license payment in hand, and could see $50,000-$100,000 in revenue every month from machine fees alone. In a city with a $3.7 million budget, that can add up quickly.

"We put a lot of things in place in order to put it in perspective and not let it get out of hand as far as all the negative publicity that goes along with it," Wilson said. "I'm hoping they're gonna come in and be pretty good. So we're just gonna wait and see about things."

Wilson lives less than a quarter mile from the new site and says he's not worried about traffic, but he is paying close attention to the very public legal fight over efforts to raid bingo machines at Victoryland and Country Crossing.

"I stayed glued to the television the other day to find out what was going on. So we're keeping close watch."

Wilson says the city won't lose any money if courts rule against electronic bingo, but says for now he's hopeful the new bingo hall will be allowed to operate.

The 1st Midfield bingo hall will be operated by the Israel Community Development Corporation, who say they plan to be open 24-7.