JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Over a dozen illegal slot machines were seized during a raid at a bingo hall in Bessemer Wednesday morning.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall hosted a news conference Wednesday, at the Bessemer Superhighway Bingo, where 14 illegal slot machines had been confiscated.
“The good people of these communities deserve better than illicit casinos in their neighborhoods,” Marshall said, “and they deserve to have elected officials that are willing to keep it out.”
Marshall emphasized that while gambling may not be a violent crime, it cannot be ignored. The AG’s Office continues to examine all the evidence that has been collected.
“Laws are laws. Gambling is illegal in Alabama, as the Supreme Court recently affirmed,” Marshall said. “Allowing illegal gambling and activity to operate freely in broad daylight is offensive to the rule of law, and we simply aren’t going to tolerate it.”
When asked about loopholes, Marshall clarified that according to the Supreme Court, there is no such thing as electronic bingo, and the machines seized were slot machines, which are illegal in Alabama.
According to Marshall, no arrests had been made, but the courts in Jefferson County have already issued temporary restraining orders, with hearings possibly on April 21. This has allowed the AG’s Office to shut down facilities until hearings take place.
Officials have been active in other locations besides the Bessemer Superhighway Bingo, including Greenetrack, Victoryland and other facilities.
Marshall described the situation as “extremely frustrating,” both for himself and members of the community, adding that it undermines the law and those responsible for enforcing it.
“I would simply request that those who have the authority to act, exercise their responsible authority in being able to shut down illegal operations,” he said.
Below is a list of the 14 illegal gambling facilities:
- Shoot the Moon Bingo
- Paradise Bingo
- Legion Bingo
- Kings & Queens Bingo
- Charity Bingo
- Jay’s Charity Bingo (Bessemer)
- Just the Right Time Bingo (Bam Bamz)
- Magic City Bingo
- Plaza Bingo
- Jay’s Charity Bingo (Brighton)
- Pinson Valley Bingo
- Skills Bingo
- American Legion #1228 Graysville Bingo
- Superhighway Bingo