Supreme Court of Alabama Allows Casino Lawsuits To Continue – The Supreme Court of Alabama overturned a lower court ruling last Friday, allowing lawsuits to proceed that could shut down a handful of gaming operators operating in the state.
Lawsuits were filed by the state against three racino-style gaming properties in Alabama in 2017, but were rejected by the Macon County and Lowndes County circuit courts in 2019, according to Opelika-Auburn News.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, who was appointed to the position earlier that year, argued that the property was operating in violation of Alabama state law. When the lower courts of the two counties rejected the case, Marshall appealed to the highest court in the state, which ultimately won him.
A certain county in Alabama, which is one of the most anti-gambling states in the state and one of the few states that does not have a state lottery, instituted constitutional amendments to allow bingo in the area. VictoryLand Casino in Macon Country, Southern Hall Entertainment Center and White Hall Entertainment Center in Lowndes County all operate “bingo style” slot machines that closely resemble slot machines.
Marshall argues that this machine is more akin to a slot machine than bingo and should be banned under Alabama law.
“For too long, these individuals, businesses and even elected officials have been flagrantly violating Alabama law,” Marshall said in a statement.
Several Macon County officials, including the county sheriff, have voiced support for the property and believe the property operates within the confines of the law.
With the Supreme Court’s decision, the case will immediately be returned to a lower court and the legal process will continue. The state’s tribal casinos, which are all owned by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, will not be affected by the outcome of the case.
Earlier this year, the tribe pushed for a game deal with the state. But Governor Kay Ivey said he would not sign the agreement until a study focused on the effects of gambling on the state was completed.