MONTGOMERY, Ala. (Legal Newsline) -- Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange announced on Friday that an agreement has been reached with three of the country's largest gaming machine manufacturers and that thousands of the controversial machines will be removed from the state.
"I am pleased to announce that three of the largest gaming equipment manufacturers have agreed to remove their machines and equipment from Alabama," Strange said in a statement.
Beginning next week, International Gaming Technology, Bally Technologies and Multimedia Games will remove all of their machines and equipment from VictoryLand, Country Crossing and the White Hall Entertainment Center, Strange said. The companies have agreed to complete the removal of their machines within 60 days.
These agreements, the Attorney General's Office said, are the culmination of what it calls "a reasoned legal strategy" employed by Strange since his election in November.
During the weeks before Strange took office, he met with local law enforcement and district attorneys in each of the affected counties. He then met with attorneys that represent both out-of-state gaming machine manufacturers and Alabama casinos to discuss the state's legal position regarding "electronic bingo." Strange offered the casinos an opportunity to have their day in court through a forfeiture action.
Strange said he then sent letters to the gaming machine companies with "electronic bingo" machines in Alabama casinos, explaining the legal position of the state and providing the companies a window of opportunity to remove their machines.
International Gaming Technology, Bally Technologies and Multimedia Games all took advantage of the attorney general's offer and agreed to remove the machines from the state, his office said.
Additionally, representatives from Cadillac Jack and Hest Technology have notified the Attorney General's Office that they have already removed their machines and equipment from the state.
"It is my hope that this action will put an end to the electronic bingo controversy that has engulfed our state for far too long. There are other manufacturers with machines in this state, and I hope that they will follow the lead of those who have responsibly agreed to remove their machines," Strange said Friday.
From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.