Bingo facilities contribute $273,624.87 to local agencies

bingoShown above Chief Derick Coleman, Bingo Clerk Emma Jackson, Bingo Clerk Minnie Byrd, Sheriff Jonathan Benison, Sharon Washington representing the Greene County Board of Education, Brenda Burke representing the Greene County Commission, Forkland City Councilman Willie Sashington, and Town of Union City Councilwoman Louise Harkness

On Wednesday, February 20, 2017, Greene County Sheriff Department distributed $273,624.87 in monthly bingo allocations from the four licensed gaming operations in the county. The recipients of the monthly distributions from bingo gaming designated by Sheriff Jonathan Benison in his Bingo Rules and Regulations include the Greene County Commission, the Greene County Sheriff’s Department, the cities of Eutaw, Forkland, Union and Boligee and the Greene County Board of Education. Assessments are for the month of January 2017.
Greenetrack, Inc. gave a total of $93,424.87 to the following: Greene County Commission, $37,369.95; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $14,013.73; City of Eutaw, $7,006.87; Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $4,671.24; Greene County Board of Education, $21,020.60. Green Charity (Center for Rural Family Development) gave a total of $60,200 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,080; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,030; City of Eutaw, $4,515; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,010; Greene County Board of Education, $13,545.
Frontier (Dream, Inc.) gave a total of $60,000 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500.
River’s Edge (TennTom Community Outreach) gave a total of $60,000 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500.

Alabama Supreme Court dismisses appeal by Frontier Bingo in illegal gambling case

State will keep $191,249 and 449 Electronic Bingo Devices Seized from Casino

(MONTGOMERY) – Acting Alabama Attorney General Alice Martin announced the Alabama Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by Dream, Inc., owners of Frontier Bingo in Greene County, thereby letting stand a lower court’s ruling in favor of the State of Alabama.
On February 2, 2017, the Alabama Supreme Court issued its order to dismiss the casino operator’s appeal of an August 15, 2016, Greene County Circuit Court ruling. That ruling granted the State of Alabama’s Petition for Forfeiture and Condemnation of $191,249.11 in currency and 449 illegal electronic bingo machines seized from Frontier Bingo in 2014.
Dream, Inc., filed its motion to dismiss its appeal after the Alabama Supreme Court ruling against Greenetrack, also in Greene County, on December 23, 2016. The Supreme Court left no doubt that electronic bingo is illegal in the State of Alabama.

“I am pleased to announce that this case has been closed and these funds can be applied to the Alabama General Fund in accordance with the Court’s decision,” said Acting Attorney General Alice Martin. “Furthermore, the illegal electronic bingo devices seized by the State will be destroyed.”
Acting Attorney General Martin thanked Assistant Attorney General John Kachelman and former Assistant Attorney General Bill Lisenby of the Criminal Trials Division, and Special Agents of the Attorney General’s Investigations Division for their work investigating the case and executing the search warrant which led to the seizure and the successful prosecution of Frontier Bingo.

Bingo facilities contribute $286,006.43 to governmental agencies in December

bingoL to R: Emma Jackson, Bingo Clerk; Mayor of Union, James Gaines; Chief Derick Coleman representing City of Eutaw; Minnie Byrd, Bingo Clerk; Greene County Sheriff Jonathan Benison, Forkland Mayor Charlie McAlpine; Paula Bird representing the Greene County Commission; Sharon Washington, of Greene County Board of Education and Boligee City Councilwoman Earnestine Wade.

 

On Friday, January 20, 2017, Greene County Sheriff Department distributed $286,006.43 in monthly bingo allocations from the four licensed gaming operations in the county. The recipients of the monthly distributions from bingo gaming designated by Sheriff Jonathan Benison in his Bingo Rules and Regulations include the Greene County Commission, the Greene County Sheriff’s Department, the cities of Eutaw, Forkland, Union and Boligee and the Greene County Board of Education. Assessments are for the month of December 2016.
Greenetrack, Inc. gave a total of $106,006.43 to the following: Greene County Commission, $42,402.57; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $15,900.97; City of Eutaw, $7,950.48; Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $5,300.32; Greene County Board of Education, $23,851.45.
Green Charity (Center for Rural Family Development) gave a total of $60,000 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500.
Frontier (Dream, Inc.) gave a total of $60,000 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500.
River’s Edge (TennTom Community Outreach) gave a total of $60,000 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500.

Alabama Supreme Court rules against electronic bingo in Greene County

On Friday, December 23, 2016, the Alabama Supreme Court issued two rulings, which Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange states, “These rulings show that electronic bingo is illegal in the state of Alabama.”
In the case State of Alabama v. 825 Electronic Gambling Devices et al (Greenetrack), the Alabama Supreme Court ruled in favor of the State, reversing a lower court judgment siding with the casino. As a result, the State of Alabama is allowed to destroy the electronic bingo machines it seized from Greenetrack in 2010.
In its 29-page ruling released Friday, the Supreme Court reaffirmed its March 31, 2016 ruling in a similar case involving the legality of electronic bingo machines.
“There is no longer any room for uncertainty, nor justification for continuing dispute, as to the meaning of [the term ‘bingo’]. And certainly the need for any further expenditure of judicial resources, including the resources of this Court, to examine this issue is at an end.
All that is left is for the law of this State to be enforced,” the Supreme Court said.
In a separate case (Macon County Greyhound Park, Inc., d/b/a Victoryland v Marie Hoffman), the Supreme Court ruled that individuals have a right to sue illegal gambling institutions.
“Because the ‘contracts’ containing the arbitration provisions in these cases were based on gambling consideration, they were based solely on criminal conduct, and are therefore void. Consequently, the provisions of those ‘contracts,’ including arbitration provisions are void and unenforceable,” the Supreme Court ruled.
Attorney General Strange emphasized that these rulings, combined with the Supreme Court’s March 31, 2016 ruling against Victoryland, remove any doubt that electronic bingo in all its forms is illegal in Alabama and that local law enforcement should do their duty to enforce the law.
“Local sheriffs and police officers in most parts of the State are enforcing our gambling laws. The sheriffs in Greene and Macon counties must uphold their sworn duty to enforce the law as interpreted by the Supreme Court and not continue to sanction this illegal activity.
“My office stands ready to render any required assistance to enable them to carry out their duties,” said AG Strange.
The Alabama Supreme Court decision ignores the intent and support of the voters of Greene County to overwhelmingly approve Constitutional Amendment 743, which allows for electronic forms of bingo, say knowlegable observers in Greene County.
The Alabama Supreme Court has ruled in previous decisions that bingo is a game played on paper cards, with five numbers across and five down. The players must mark their cards and call out a bingo when they have it on their cards. The Alabama high court decision overlooks the changing digitalizing and electronic adaptions of all devices in our society.
“ I am sure that every member of the Alabama Supreme Court has a cellular phone in their pocket and they would not rule that the cellular phone is not a telephone, but they have ruled that electronic bingo machines are not bingo,” said a member of the Greene County school board, which is a major recipient of bingo funds.
“This is a voting rights issue for us now in Greene County. The Alabama Supreme Court should not be allowed to overrule the voters of Greene County who approved electronic bingo. This high court should not be able to strip Greene County of revenues and jobs from electronic bingo,” said Lester Brown, Greene County Commissioner District 1.
A countywide meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 3, 2017 at 6:00 PM at the National Guard Armory for citizens of Greene County to discuss the impact of this decision and plans for going forward to defend Constitutional Amendment 743.