Bingo typically conjures images of a grand old time at the local Bingo Parlor, or maybe charitable proceeds that are raised for benevolent causes. At the very least, the first thought that comes to mind is that of a wholesome recreational pleasure. Occasionally, however, Bingo can get ugly. The simple game played for pleasure is involved every now-and-then in legal battles, and even criminal proceedings. As in the case of the tug-of-war between the courts in Montgomery, Alabama where a judge ordered the destruction of more than 100 electronic Bingo machines. Or, another example is the case of Jesse James Hall and his wife Juanita who stole money from charitable proceeds for their own profit.
Middlesboro Couple Pleads Guilty to Charitable Bingo Theft
Jesse Hall resigned from his position as the Bell County Constable before he was sentenced to five years of probation for his involvement in the theft of charitable Bingo proceeds. Hall and his wife Juanita operated the Bell County Bingo Parlor in Middlesboro. The pair pled guilty to 23 counts against them and they are now barred for life from operating any charitable Bingo organizations or venues. The Halls handed over their home to the Bell County Fair and Exhibition Board as partial compensation toward the $77, 741 in restitution that the couple has also been ordered to pay. For Middlesboro residents this is a classic case of greed and gives the game of Bingo a whole new connotation.
More than 100 Bingo Machines to be Destroyed
And yet another Bingo battle – this time in Montgomery, Alabama has judges, politicians, and owners of electronic Bingo machines a bit ‘up in arms’. Raids and threats of raids on any establishment that operates electronic Bingo machines have been conducted and proposed. More than 100 electronic Bingo machines were seized in 2009 from the White Hall gaming center. The Anti-gambling Task Force generated the raid and now Judge Robert Vance ordered that the machines be destroyed. The dispute over electronic Bingo machines extends across the state, according to Attorney General Luther Strange establishments will receive notice in the form of a letter that will outline the state’s stand on electronic Bingo.
Strange insists that the machines either be removed or be seized by force, in necessary. Business owners are encouraged to utilize the legal system to acquire court opinion regarding the legality of the equipment as much debate ensues as to whether or not the electronic machines should be considered ‘illegal’ or not. After the Anti-gambling Task Force conducted the initial raid and seizure, Governor Robert Bentley took office and disbanded the task force. What lies ahead are plans by the Attorney General’s Office to send out the investigators to determine where and in which establishments a raid may be necessary. Bingo should be easy, but in this situation it has a lot of people in Alabama scrambling for lucky results.