Riley earns another victory in fight against illegal gambling

MONTGOMERY, AL - Governor Bob Riley and local officials won another important court victory against illegal gambling.

In a ruling against a company planning to open a casino in Etowah County, Etowah County Circuit Judge Allen Millican said he recognizes that "the court does not have the luxury of not following the law" when it comes to illegal gambling.

Judge Millican in his ruling recites the Alabama Supreme Court's recent unanimous ruling that makes clear Governor Riley's position that "bingo" cannot be played on slot machines is correct under numerous prior Alabama court decisions.

The judge goes on to rule that casino operators cannot file civil lawsuits to determine the legality of their machines. Attorney General Troy King had suggested the use of that kind of civil lawsuit in his effort to stop the Governor's Task Force on Illegal Gambling from enforcing the law. The Alabama Supreme Court on Friday rejected King's proposal, declaring it "a nullity."

Casino interests in Macon and Lowndes counties and in Bessemer have also sought to stop the enforcement of Alabama's laws against illegal gambling through this same kind of lawsuit. Last week's Supreme Court ruling - and today's ruling in Etowah County - affirm that law enforcement efforts cannot be challenged in this manner.

"Judge Millican is following the law, which is crystal clear when it comes to illegal gambling in Alabama. The only people who pretend otherwise are those who support illegal gambling," said Governor Riley. "I am confident District Attorney Jimmie Harp, who asked the Task Force to assist in this matter, has every intention of enforcing both the rule of law in general and Judge Millican's decision in particular."

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