Bingo returns to White Hall

WHITE HALL, AL (WSFA) - The bright lights and chiming sounds of gaming machines came back to life at the White Hall Gaming Center Tuesday, nearly two weeks after a raid shut the complex down and fired up controversy.

There were approximately 50 people waiting standing in the lobby, waiting to go in and play. Once inside they found a smaller selection to play from. Only 400 or so of the 900 machines are up and running because the state has yet to return all the items seized in the raid.

Managers say they've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars just to re-open on a temporary basis. "...Probably in the range of $300.000," said Manager Chad Dickie. "We have purchased new servers to operate our machines, we are opening on a limited basis with limited machines and limited equipment."

By court order the state has until Thursday to return the money and machines it took as evidence. Governor Riley's Task Force on Illegal Gambling is rushing an appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court to stop that order, but a check with the court clerk Tuesday showed no real timetable for the state's highest court to decide on the matter.