Several Lawsuits Filed Against Alabama "Casinos"

Oct 5, 2017

Electronic bingo machines at VictoryLand Casino in Shorter, Ala.

Alabama’s Attorney General Steve Marshall has filed lawsuits against several casinos in Alabama, saying they are operating illegal slot machines under the guise of electronic bingo.

Yesterday, Marshall’s office filed lawsuits in five counties seeking to shut down the electronic bingo operations. Marshall says the Alabama Supreme Court has made abundantly clear that the machines are illegal.

These lawsuits are the latest development in a long-running legal battle over the slot machine lookalikes. State law forbids casino games, like slot machines, but it does allow for charities in some counties to offer bingo games as fundraisers. Casino operators have argued that their machines don’t play slots, but rapid-fire electronic bingo, and the chimes and whirling displays are just for entertainment.

One of the lawsuits is against VictoryLand casino in Macon County. Back in 2013, state officials shut the facility and seized over 1600 bingo machines and $260,000 in cash, in a move ultimately upheld by the Alabama Supreme Court.

But owner Milton McGregor reopened VictoryLand last year to huge crowds, and he says Macon County’s sheriff and district attorney both assured him the games were legal.