Last weekend for electronic bingo

By Alan Collins

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - It's the last big weekend for electronic bingo in Jefferson County.

Michael Trucks, city attorney for Fairfield, says Jefferson County District Attorney Arthur Green has agreed on a June 4th deadline at 6 p.m. for all electronic bingo halls in the Bessemer cutoff to be closed.  

That is the same day when the ruling from the Alabama Supreme Court on electronic bingo becomes finalized. The ruling gave Governor Bob Riley control of his illegal gambling task force instead of Attorney General Troy King.

So far Task Force Commander John Tyson has not signed off on the June 4th deadline.

You don't have to tell players who love electronic bingo this is the last weekend for the games of chance.

"Well, I don't want them to close cause I love to play the machines," Brenda Mason said. "If they close these spots or other spots I will go down to Weptumka, Wind Creek or Tallapoosa."

"It's going to take a lot of fun from me," John Finn said. "I'm retired. It's the only thing I got to do. Win some money. Lose some money."

"That is correct unless there is a miracle this is the last weekend," Trucks said.

Electronic bingo means about $400,000 a month for the city of Fairfield. The city will be looking at some tough decisions once the electronic games are shut down.

"I hope everyone enjoys it," Trucks said. "We are going to find ourselves with 400 new people on the unemployment rolls in the Fairfield area."

Until then players can enjoy the games.

"It was my recommendation on the order becoming finalized they should shut down immediately or they would face the possibility of a raid which could lead to confiscation of their property," Trucks said.

"I don't like it," Earnest Davis said. "We need something. What the city gets off of bingo is good for the city. They should let us play."

"I'll be back," Finn said. "I'm going to the bank now. I'll be back."

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