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Marshall: Court ruling permanently ends electronic bingo in Macon County

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Attorney General Steve Marshall Tuesday declared another victory in his effort to rid the state of electronic bingo machines he says are clearly illegal slot machines under Alabama law.

In a case before the 5th Judicial Circuit, the court granted Marshall’s request to permanently enjoin Victoryland, once one of the state’s largest casinos, from operating electronic bingo machines in Macon County. The ruling also applied to machine maker Epic Tech, Inc., transporter K.C. Economic Development, LLC and Macon County Sheriff Andre Brunson – each of whom are co-defendants in the case.

The court ruled that they are “permanently enjoined from offering ‘electronic bingo’ at any facility in Macon County, from receiving any moneys in relation to ‘electronic bingo’ machines operated in Macon County, from transporting or providing any additional ‘electronic bingo machines to any facility in Macon County, and from receiving, utilizing or providing bingo licenses or permits to play ‘electronic bingo’ in Macon County.”

Read the full ruling HERE.

Marshall said the ruling is part of his long-term strategy to defeat illegal gambling permanently, whereas previous efforts have seen casinos recalibrate machines and reopen after raids.

“Electronic bingo machines are a blatant violation of state law, and the Alabama Supreme Court has reaffirmed this time and time again,” Marshall said in a statement. “Similar to the facilities in Morgan, Houston and Lowndes Counties, the Macon County facilities are permanently prohibited from using electronic bingo machines moving forward.”

Victoryland owner Lewis Benefield announced earlier this year that the facility would no longer offer electronic bingo after a ruling by the Supreme Court. Victoryland founder Milton McGregor, Benefield’s father in law, for decades fought multiple court battles to keep his casino open, even being acquitted in a high profile federal bribery case in 2010. McGregor died in 2018.

Benefield told, ““I’m not going to do what maybe some people have done in the past and say, ‘Hey, screw it. We’re going to still offer it.’ I’m not going to offer electronic bingo… I’m fully running the thing within the law and what the law allows me to do.”

He also said the facility had laid off hundreds of employees as a result of no longer offering the machines.

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