Bingo fans excited to play, cities eager to reap the revenue - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Bingo fans excited to play, cities eager to reap the revenue

Posted: Updated:

Bingo is set to be back in the Bessemer cutoff, at least for now. Less than 24 hours after players heard Judge Eugene Verin gave the games the 'go ahead' Monday, they're already on the prowl to play.
 
"Just out and about seeing which ones are open and which ones are going to be open,"says Richard Dixon, bingo player who drove to Midfield from Center Point.

Bingo hall operators in Midfield and Fairfield are feverishly trying to fill out business license applications. They want to get in on the games while the gettin' is still good.  Each hall is expected to hold new table top machines which are activated by cards. The machines were apparently specially designed to comply with Alabama law.

The same sense of eagerness and excitement is also coming from Midfield City leaders.

"We've been operating on what we need not necessarily what we want," says Gary Richardson, Midfield mayor.

Now there's a chance the city can get afford to get what it wants because in order to open, area bingo hall operators have to pay the city thousands of dollars in fees up front. In addition, "They pay a licensing fee of $15,000 (in advance) and that's up front, non- refundable," says Richardson.

"We hope as they're endeavoring to have themselves set back up again (bingo halls) that we don't see some response from the state. Hopefully we will not," says Michael Trucks, Fairfield City attorney.

Fairfield's City attorney, Michael Trucks, supports the ruling. He says hopefully it will be upheld meaning hall operators can open without fear of interference from the Jefferson County Sheriff or District Attorney's office.

"I think it is well reasoned. It is based on law and I would expect it to be upheld. I never want to say for sure though because I'm surprised every day when I come to the office," says Trucks.

Trucks says if bingo is a 'go' in Greene County, why not the Bessemer Cutoff. He says both areas have constitutional amendments and ordinances.
 
"Addresses a very basic principal of American jurisprudence and that is equal protection under the law," says Trucks.

ABC 33/40 tried to find out more information on the reasoning behind this ruling and whether it will face resistance. However, Judge Verin says he can't talk about the case. District Attorney, Arthur Greene, says he won't talk about this case until he hears more from Attorney General, Luther Strange.

In an emailed statement Deputy Attorney General Sonny Reagan writes:  

"Yesterday afternoon the City of Fairfield and Arthur Green, District Attorney for Jefferson County, Bessemer Division, jointly moved the Jefferson County Circuit Court to reinstate its November 2009 order.  Just before close of business, the Court responded with a brief order that effectively enjoins both District Attorney Green and Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale from enforcing the law with respect to bingo operations within the Bessemer Cutoff."

"The Alabama Supreme Court has made clear that circuit courts lack the authority, in a civil case like this one, to enjoin law enforcement from effectively enforcing the criminal laws of this State.  Accordingly, the circuit court's order is incorrect as a matter of law.  Attorney General Strange has directed his Office to appear on behalf of Sheriff Hale and take all steps necessary to have the court's order stayed and, ultimately, vacated."

 

 

  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Greene County Schools ready to "turn up"

    Greene County Schools ready to "turn up"

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 8:49 AM EDT2014-07-30 12:49:10 GMT
    The Greene County School System has announced a back to school event. It's called the “Back to School Turn-Up.” More >>
    The Greene County School System has announced a back to school event. It's called the “Back to School Turn-Up.” More >>
  • Social Media Night big draw at Regions Field

    Social Media Night big draw at Regions Field

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 7:22 AM EDT2014-07-30 11:22:59 GMT
    In Baseball, it's important to keep your eye on the ball, but local baseball fans are also keeping their eyes on social media. It's something that's helping the Birmingham Barons fill the seats for home games.Lynnsey Nowell says, "I keep up with a lot of things around Birmingham through Facebook, Twitter, Instragram. I'm one of those people always re-posting stuff." It's that effort that scored Nowell free tickets to Tuesday night' s Barons Game.She also threw the first pitch.Nowell says, "I'...More >>
    In Baseball, it's important to keep your eye on the ball, but local baseball fans are also keeping their eyes on social media. It's something that's helping the Birmingham Barons fill the seats for home games.Lynnsey Nowell says, "I keep up with a lot of things around Birmingham through Facebook, Twitter, Instragram. I'm one of those people always re-posting stuff." It's that effort that scored Nowell free tickets to Tuesday night' s Barons Game.She also threw the first pitch.Nowell says, "I'...More >>
  • Jews and Christians pack out the Levite Community Center for the largest rally since 1974

    Jews and Christians pack out the Levite Community Center for the largest rally since 1974

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:13 PM EDT2014-07-30 03:13:13 GMT
    The guns and rockets are on the other side of the world but the conflict is impacting people in Alabama.More >>
    The guns and rockets are on the other side of the world but the conflict is impacting people in Alabama.More >>
  • Shelby wants plan to fix Central Alabama VA

    Shelby wants plan to fix Central Alabama VA

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 9:19 PM EDT2014-07-30 01:19:22 GMT
    U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) today sent a letter with U.S. Representative Martha Roby to VA Secretary Robert McDonald, who was confirmed by the Senate Tuesday. The letter requests that Secretary McDonald provide a plan within 60 days that identifies the problems at the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System, what can be done to correct them, and a timeline for implementation. It also requests that Secretary McDonald visit the facility in Montgomery with Senator Shelby and Represe...More >>
    U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) today sent a letter with U.S. Representative Martha Roby to VA Secretary Robert McDonald, who was confirmed by the Senate Tuesday. The letter requests that Secretary McDonald provide a plan within 60 days that identifies the problems at the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System, what can be done to correct them, and a timeline for implementation. It also requests that Secretary McDonald visit the facility in Montgomery with Senator Shelby and Represe...More >>
  • Sam factor prepares Rams for sensitivity session

    Sam factor prepares Rams for sensitivity session

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 8:26 PM EDT2014-07-30 00:26:35 GMT
    To guard against another Miami Dolphins bullying scandal, NFL teams are holding sensitivity sessions during training camp.More >>
    To guard against another bullying scandal, NFL teams are holding sensitivity sessions during training camp.More >>
  • Uber blasts Birmingham Councilwoman over transportation code

    Uber blasts Birmingham Councilwoman over transportation code

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 7:14 PM EDT2014-07-29 23:14:19 GMT
    A weeks-long, heated debate over the City of Birmingham's transportation code ends with more friction.More >>
    A weeks-long, heated debate over the City of Birmingham's transportation code ends with more friction.More >>
  • UAB guard Chad Frazier granted his release from basketball program

    UAB guard Chad Frazier granted his release from basketball program

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 7:12 PM EDT2014-07-29 23:12:02 GMT
    The leading scorer on the UAB basketball team is leaving the program. Guard Chad Frazier was granted his release and will not return."Chad Frazier has been granted his release from our program," head coach Jerod Haase said in a statement. "We appreciate his contributions to our program and wish him the best." Frazier, a first team All-Conference USA selection, was arrested last month and charged with third degree domestic violence. The case was later dismissed.Frazier played one season at UAB...More >>
    The leading scorer on the UAB basketball team is leaving the program. Guard Chad Frazier was granted his release and will not return."Chad Frazier has been granted his release from our program," head coach Jerod Haase said in a statement. "We appreciate his contributions to our program and wish him the best." Frazier, a first team All-Conference USA selection, was arrested last month and charged with third degree domestic violence. The case was later dismissed.Frazier played one season at UAB...More >>
  • Stephen A. Smith suspended by ESPN for comments on Ray Rice domestic abuse discussion

    Stephen A. Smith suspended by ESPN for comments on Ray Rice domestic abuse discussion

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 6:50 PM EDT2014-07-29 22:50:13 GMT
    ESPN has suspended outspoken sportscaster Stephen A. Smith for a week because of his comments about domestic abuse suggesting women should make sure that they don't do anything to provoke an attack.More >>
    ESPN has suspended outspoken sportscaster Stephen A. Smith for a week because of his comments about domestic abuse suggesting women should make sure that they don't do anything to provoke an attack.
    More >>