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AG, WALKER COUNTY DA ANNOUNCE LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS AGAINST ELECTRONIC BINGO OPERATIONS

Staff Report

From the Office of Attorney General Luther Strange

(MONTGOMERY)— Attorney General Luther Strange thanked District Attorney Bill Adair for his office’s partnership in a strong initiative to shut down so-called “electronic bingo” casinos in Walker County.  Attorney General Strange and District Attorney Adair reported today on law enforcement actions in an ongoing joint effort between their offices.

Most recently, on the evening of January 10, agents of the Attorney General’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office shut down illegal gambling operations involving 15 machines at the Arrowhead Golf Course on Holly Grove Road, and involving an additional 20 machines at a private building on Valley Loop Road. The Arrowhead Golf Course also was the subject of a similar law enforcement operation in September.

“These actions are the culmination of a joint investigation by the Attorney General’s Office and the Walker County District Attorney’s Office, with assistance provided by the Walker County Sheriff’s Office,” said Attorney General Strange. “From my first day in office, I have acted to ensure that illegal gambling laws are enforced consistently across the state.  These cooperative law enforcement efforts in Walker County demonstrate our commitment to do so effectively.”

District Attorney Adair stated, “I commend Attorney General Strange and his office on their commitment to following and enforcing the law and the invaluable assistance in time and manpower that his office has provided.”

Altogether, the joint investigative efforts of these offices so far has resulted in the seizure of approximately 80 machines, two guns, and $1,441 in cash from a total of seven gambling facilities that were shut down.  These machines, along with the seized money, will be held as evidence and will be subject to a forfeiture procedure to be filed in the Circuit Court of Walker County.

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“Until the Alabama Legislature acts to create an effective deterrent for large scale illegal gambling, individuals will continue to engage in illegal gambling activity and openly defy the law,” said Attorney General Strange.   “These individuals stand to make thousands of dollars in illegal gambling profits while risking only a slap-on-the-wrist misdemeanor charge.  Law enforcement will continue to be forced to expend valuable resources to deal with the growing problem.  The Legislature must change that weakness in our law and create a badly needed deterrent for large scale illegal gambling by increasing the penalty for operating an illegal slot machine casino to a felony.”

Staff
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