AG King loses at bingo

Nick Rees May 24, 2010, 3:27pm


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (Legal Newsline) - Alabama Attorney General Troy King is disappointed over a state Supreme Court ruling that allows the governor's Task Force on Illegal Gambling to challenge the legality of electronic bingo within the state.

The unanimous ruling allows Gov. Bob Riley's task force to challenge the legality of Lowndes County's White Hall Entertainment Center's electronic bingo games, regardless of King's approval or disapproval.

"The Alabama Supreme Court has now spoken," King said. "I am obviously disappointed with the decision.

"The court reversed its own past decisions and even the decisions of those who wrote the Constitution. The implications of the Court's decision reach far beyond the issue of bingo."

King and Riley have been at odds over electronic bingo for some time, with the governor arguing that electronic bingo machines are illegal slot machines. King has countered that the machines may be legal.

"My position from the very beginning has been that the Court should determine the legality of electronic bingo," King said. "Even though I disagree with a public policy that allows gambling, I have been proud throughout this process to stand up for the true rule of law and for all Alabamians."

King had attempted to take over task force's legal actions against the casinos. The state Supreme Court's ruling, however, says that Alabama law does not give the attorney general power to control litigation by law officers who are acting at the direction of the governor.

"The Constitution requires that I abide by the Court's decision and I will," King said. "Accordingly, the Office of the Attorney General will immediately turn over to the Governor all bingo matters."

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