MONTGOMERY, Ala. (Legal Newsline) - Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange and District Attorney Bill Adair announced additional law enforcement actions Friday in an ongoing joint initiative to shut down electronic bingo casinos in Walker County.
On July 9, members of Strange's office and Adair's office shut down an allegedly illegal gambling operation involving approximately 12 machines at a private building in Jasper. Previously in 2013, agents from both offices shut down allegedly illegal gambling operations involving 15 machines at the Jasper-based Arrowhead Golf Course and another 20 machines at a private building.
"These actions are the culmination of a joint investigation by the attorney general's office and the Walker County District Attorney's office, with assistance provided by the Walker County Sheriff's office," Strange said. "From my first day in office, I have acted to ensure that illegal gambling laws are enforced consistently across the state. These cooperative law enforcement efforts in Walker County demonstrate our commitment to do so effectively."
The joint efforts of the two offices resulted in the seizure of approximately 92 machines, two guns and approximately $7,500 in cash. Approximately 20 gambling facilities were shut down. Strange's office seized the machines and money to be held as evidence and to be subject to forfeiture procedures.
Strange said the state of Alabama must enact laws to prevent illegal gambling operations.
"Until the Alabama legislature acts to create an effective deterrent for illegal gambling, individuals will continue to engage in illegal gambling activity and openly defy the law," Strange said. "These individuals stand to make thousands of dollars in illegal gambling profits while risking only a slap-on-the-wrist misdemeanor charge. Law enforcement will continue to be forced to expend valuable resources to deal with the growing problem. The legislature must change that weakness in our law and create a badly needed deterrent for illegal gambling by increasing the penalty for operating an illegal slot machine casino to a felony."