E-bingo machines confiscated and removed state-wide

By Alan Collins

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A deal has been struck to remove electronic bingo machines from Alabama. Gov. Bob Riley's Illegal Gambling Task Force confiscated machines at GreeneTrack and Victoryland owner Milton McGregor shut down his machines and locked them away.

Under the agreement the machine manufacturers will remove the machines from the state.

"We offered them a window of opportunity to remove their machines from the state after we explained the state's position concerning slot machines and electronic bingo," Sonny Reagan, Dep. Attorney General said.

Birmingham attorney Mark White represents Victoryland. White says he would have liked to see the written agreement and he would like to see the issue settled in court.

"We always proposed to go to court. In forfeiture proceedings those are against the property. If there is not property there will be questions raised," Mark White said.

The manufacturers have 60 days to remove the machines. This will leave Native Americans as the only ones operating machines in Alabama.

"It's my understanding the Native Americans will continue to operate the identical equipment from the same manufacturers in the state of Alabama," White said.

But the attorney general's office insists they are working to get the machines on tribal lands removed from Alabama as well.

"The agreement does not apply to the tribal lands but we made our point clear. If a machine is illegal under the law, that would be illegal for the tribes to use as well," Reagan said.

Gov. Robert Bentley wants the issue settled fairly for everyone.

"We want the law enforced equally in Alabama. Whether it's Indians or anyone else. Ultimately by the courts," Bentley said.

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