Alabama AG Seeks Ban On Indian Bingo Machines
February 16, 2011
Alabama’s new attorney general is calling for a ban bingo machine’s at Alabama’s Indian casinos — including the Poarch Creek’s Wind Creek in Atmore.
“I would also ask that any regulations make clear that the mere fact that traditional bingo is allowed in certain parts ofthis State does not mean that “electronic bingo” is legal on Indian lands in this State,” Luther Strange said in a letter to the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC).
“I urge you to make clear that Native American Indian tribes located in Alabama cannot engage in gambling activities that are patently illegal under Alabama law,” the attorney said.
The NIGC has publicly stated in the past that if paper bingo is allowed anywhere in Alabama, Indian tribes are able to offer any form of the game — including electronic bingo like the machines located in Atmore.
For Strange and newly elected Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, the letter was the first move against Indian casinos since taking office last month, as they argued that the Indian bingo games are slot machines.
“…absolutely no amendment to the Alabama Constitution has authorized slot machines or other illegal gambling devices in any county. Machines that accept cash or credit and then dispense cash value prizes based upon chance are slot machines under Alabama law and are not made legal by any bingo amendment. Likewise, no local bingo rule, regulation or ordinance can legally authorize slot machines,” Strange’s letter states.