MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP/WSFA) - The Alabama Supreme Court has dealt electronic bingo a setback in a case from White Hall that questioned the legality of the popular gambling machines. In a 6-3 decision Friday, the court struck down a preliminary injunction that kept the Governor's Task Force on Illegal Gambling from conducting another raid on White Hall Resort and Entertainment Center, 20 miles west of Montgomery.
The court did not make a final determination on the legality of electronic bingo throughout Alabama, but the majority of the justices questioned the legality of the games used in White Hall.
Gov. Bob Riley called the decision a victory in his battle to shut down the machines.
Attorneys for the White Hall gambling hall and the charity that operate said the court's decision applies only to the machines seized in White Hall.
The court case stemmed from a task force raid on the White Hall gambling center in March and seizure of 105 gambling machines and more than $500,000 in cash.
The charitable organization that operates the facility, Cornerstone Community Outreach, argued that the machines were legal electronic bingo games. The group persuaded a judge to issue a preliminary injunction against future raids. The preliminary injunction also required the task force to return the machines and cash seized in the raid.
The governor appealed to the state Supreme Court. The state's highest court put the preliminary injunction on hold in April and reversed it Friday.
The court said Cornerstone failed to demonstrate that it had a reasonable likelihood of showing that seized machines "constituted the game of bingo."
Here's what Governor Riley believes the ruling means per a news release: