BIRMINGHAM, AL -- Rather than risk confiscation and destruction of their electronic bingo machines, Alabama's leading bingo game operators and manufacturers have agreed to remove thousands of machines from the state entirely under an accord with the state's new attorney general.
International Gaming Technology, Bally Technologies and Multimedia Games have 60 days to remove bingo machines from resorts where bingo machine are placed, including VictoryLand near Tuskegee, Country Crossing in Dothan and White Hall Entertainment Center in Lowndes County.
The deal is the result of an unusual proposal that Attorney General Luther Strange made last week. The state's top law enforcement officer said the industry could either remove the machines voluntarily or have a judge decide if they were legal or illegal under state gambling and bingo laws.
But if the judge's verdict went against the industry, machines would be subject to seizure and destruction by the state, Strange said.
Gov. Bob Riley, said the new accord does not apply to Alabama's three Native American casinos, which also operate electronic bingo. Nevertheless, the new Alabama governor said his administration would also seek removal of all electronic bingos from Native American casinos.
In the meantime, cases are pending in Alabama state courts that will ultimately determine the legal status of bingo machines and if operators can reintroduce them into locations in the state at some future date.