Police seize bingo machines from bingo hall in Alabama.

July 5, 2010 - by Gladys · Filed Under London Bingo News Leave a Comment 

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16 people have been arrested in Alabama, USA, including a State Senator, when they protested against the seizure of bingo machines from a popular bingo hall by police. The Greenetrack bingo hall was the scene of the protest, which took place in a bid to stop state troopers from following orders from the Alabama Governor, who had decreed they should seize 800 electronic bingo machines. They blocked the entrance to the hall for 12 hours before the troopers decided to make the arrests.

The protest was mainly as the closure of Greenetrack will lead to 400 employees losing their jobs, and as the hall is in an area of high unemployment the chances of the staff quickly finding alternative jobs are quite remote. The Democratic State Senator Bobby Singleton of Greensboro was one of those arrested, and the Democratic nominee for governor was amongst the protestors. All of the 16 were released on a $1000 bond.

The majority of employees at the hall are black, leading black legislators to claim that the decision to close Greentrack has racial undertones, and so making this a big political issue.

Alabama’s Republican Governor, Bob Rily, believes that the electronic bingo machines are in fact illegal slot machines, which therefore contravene state laws on gambling and Internet bingo. He has been backed by John Tyson Jr, the gambling task force commander who has helped close more than 20 bingo halls in the last two months. Only Victoryland, the giant hall with more than 6000 electronic bingo machines in Macon County is still open, along with the three state-endorsed Indian casinos in Alabama.

There are currently 34 charity bingo halls in Alabama which, in line with Alabama state law, run bingo games as a charity fundraising purpose, and do not have electronic bingo.

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