State will shut down casinos in question
By Kate Northrop
The Alabama Supreme Court on Friday ruled that several casinos in the state are to be shut down after they were found to be in violation of Alabama's gambling laws.
Court case State v. Epic Tech, LLC came to a close with the Alabama Supreme Court's decision that casinos are operating illegally in the state.
The Alabama Supreme Court found itself in agreement with the Attorney General's assertion that the Southern Star, White Hall, and Victoryland casinos are illegal gambling enterprises and are to be shut down.
The casinos have offered what is called "electronic bingo," which is actually a term to mean "video-slot-machine gambling."
"The Alabama Supreme Court's opinion makes clear what my office has maintained from the start: these gambling enterprises are not only patently illegal under Alabama law, but also a menace to public health, morals, safety, and welfare," Attorney General Marshall said in a statement. "Today's decision will forbid the Southern Star, White Hall, and Victoryland casinos from offering their slot-machine gambling to the public."
Previous efforts to establish a lottery as way of tightening up unregulated gambling have failed time and time again in Alabama, with the last attempt at passing a lottery bill fizzling out as the 2021 legislative session ended before lawmakers could reach a consensus.
Regardless of whether a lottery and other forms of gambling continue to remain outlawed in Alabama, residents are looking beyond state lines to participate. In August, an Alabama resident won $1 million in the Florida Lottery after 30 years of doing so.
"In the five years since I filed lawsuits to cease illegal gambling in five different counties across the state, I have prevailed in court against one deep-pocketed gambling enterprise after another: in 2017, against the River City casino in Morgan County; in 2018, against the Center Stage casino in Houston County; and, today, against the Southern Star and White Hall casinos in Lowndes County and the Victoryland casino in Macon County," Marshall continued.
In June, the Attorney General marked another victory against unregulated gambling in the state. Alabama Department of Revenue v. Greenetrack, Inc. resulted in the Alabama Supreme Court ordering Greenetrack to pay $76 million in unpaid taxes and interest that the casino accumulated from profits to the state Department of Revenue.
There is currently a separate court case underway regarding a lawsuit to cease illegal gambling at the Greenetrack casino.