New threat to electronic bingo halls in Bessemer

By Alan Collins

BESSEMER, AL (WBRC) - Electronic bingo halls in the Bessemer cutoff are no longer protected from raids on their businesses.

Jefferson County Circuit Judge Eugene Verin revised his order Friday.  The order still bars John Tyson, the commander of the governor's task force on illegal gambling, from raiding any bingo halls in the cutoff, but the order does not apply to the Alabama Bureau of Investigation or State Troopers.

Michael Trucks, the city attorney for Fairfield, said any facility that stays open is doing so at it's own risk.

"That leaves the door open for the ABI to take some sort of action and the department of Public Safety to take some sort of action," said Trucks. "This will potentially will have a drastic impact on the city of Fairfield. It can potentially affect services such as police, fire, sanitation and streets."

Governor Bob Riley, who was in Birmingham on Friday, told FOX6 News a judge cannot stop those agencies from doing their jobs.

"No circuit judge can say you can enforce this law and not this law," Riley said. "We are going to continue to enforce the law. The constitution demands we should."

A spokesman for the bingo operations in the cutoff said Friday they plan to stay open at least until the Alabama Supreme Court rules on electronic bingo.

Copyright 2010 WBRC. All rights reserved.