MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Alabama Supreme Court delivered another win to Governor Bob Riley Friday saying his Task Force on Illegal Gambling has the authority to challenge the legality of electronic bingo games at the White Hall Entertainment Center in Lowdnes County regardless of Attorney General Troy King's approval or disapproval.
The ruling was unanimous. READ THE COURT DOCUMENT HERE.
"This ruling clears the way for Alabama's laws against slot-machine gambling to be enforced across the State," said Governor Bob Riley. "This is a clear, complete and total victory for the rule of law."
"This ruling should put the nail in the coffin for so-called electronic bingo in this state," explained Governor Riley, who believes the ruling indicates "bingo" cannot be played on what he calls slot machines.
Governor Riley has consistently won each appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court dealing with his task force's handling of bingo raids across Alabama.
Attorney General King, the state's chief legal officer, held a news conference on March 22, 2010 where he said he had no choice but to take over the Task Force. This ruling deals the attorney general's office a setback in its quest to take over the task force's legal actions against casinos.
AG King and Governor Riley have been are at odds over the issue of electronic bingo for some time. The governor says the machines the games are played on are illegal slot machines, while the attorney general says the machines may be legal.
The court says state law does not give the attorney general power to control litigation by law officers who are acting at the governor's direction.
WSFA 12 News attempted to contact Attorney General King's office for a response, but was told they would need time to read the 88 page document before they would consider speaking on the matter.
WSFA 12 News is working to get reaction from officials on both sides of this case. We'll have the latest information as it becomes available.