White Hall shuts doors again

Posted by: John Shryock - bio | email

WHITE HALL, AL (WSFA) - In what has become an almost minute by minute development in Alabama's bingo/gambling debate, now comes word that White Hall Gaming Center has closed its doors, again.

White Hall was the first gaming center raided by Governor Bob Riley's Task Force on Illegal Gambling in 2009. It closed, voluntarily, for a second time Tuesday.

White Hall's attorney, Collins Pettaway, confirmed to WSFA 12 News that the center was closed for upgrades initiated by the company that leases the machines to White Hall.

Employees of White Hall have been laid off, at least temporarily.

Governor Riley's office, which has made it a highly visible mission in the last year to rid the state of Alabama of what it calls slot machines, isn't convinced with White Hall or Victoryland's "computer upgrades".

Tuesday afternoon, Riley's office called on both casinos "to let media have access to ensure no evidence is being destroyed or tampered with."

"These casinos claim they are doing nothing more than upgrading their computers. But given their track record of ignoring court orders, it's hard not to suspect that what's really happening behind closed doors is a wholesale destruction of evidence or the tampering of evidence," said Jeff Emerson, communications director for Governor Riley. "If the casino bosses are truly doing nothing more harmful than upgrading their computers, then we call on them to let the media have access to their facilities.  That's the only way the people of Alabama can have any confidence the casino operators are not doing anything to the evidence."

You can follow all of WSFA 12 News' coverage of the ongoing bingo/gambling debate in the section to the right of this story.

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