Task Force raids Mobile gaming center

Posted by: John Shryock - bio | email

MOBILE, AL (WSFA) - Governor Riley's Task Force on Illegal Gambling raided a small gaming operation in Mobile County Thursday.

Mobile District Attorney and Task Force Commander, John Tyson says State Troopers and Chickasaw police raided a 25 machine electronic bingo hall operation. The facility opened on Thursday, the same day it was raided.  The operation is set up in the former Chickasaw Auditorium.

Tyson says no arrests were made, but didn't rule out any in the future. Tyson says the task force has seized the machines and he plans to take the case to court so they could be destroyed.

James "Pete" Bridges, a Gulf Shores lawyer who launched MS Land Co. Inc. to open electronic bingo halls in Mobile County, has said he believes the machines meet the standards set by the state Supreme Court.

The center is relatively small when compared to centers like Victoryland and Country Crossing with have thousands of gaming machines.

City leaders said the machines were specially tailored. The supplier says they may look like slot machines, but they're made to follow the definition of bingo as laid out by the Alabama State Supreme Court. They said Wednesday that to play the machines, someone must play next to you, and if you win you have just five seconds to confirm and collect your money. Afterwards, the machine were to print out a paper bingo card.

Pete Bridges, the machines' supplier, said Wednesday "The governor and John Tyson have both suggested that paper is required, nevertheless we're gonna print out a bingo card because we're trying to be a bright line example of how this game is supposed to be played in Alabama."

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