King to turn bingo matters over to governor

Published 4:57 pm Monday, May 24, 2010

Attorney General Troy King said Monday he is turning over all matters related to bingo to the governor’s office, in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling Friday.

The court ruled that King cannot take over the legal work of the governor’s Task Force on Illegal Gambling.

“I am obviously disappointed with the decision,” King said in a statement. “The court reversed its own past decisions and even the decisions of those who wrote the Constitution. The implications of the court’s decision reach far beyond the issue of bingo.”

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Riley said last week the ruling should “put the nail in the coffin for so-called electronic bingo in this state.”

“The Attorney General’s effort to hijack the Task Force was an illegal power grab designed to protect casino bosses. In light of this ruling, the casino bosses’ days of protection from law enforcement are over,” Riley said.  “I formed the Task Force only because the Attorney General failed to perform his duty to ensure that Alabama’s anti-gambling laws are enforced. This ruling clears the way for Alabama’s laws against slot-machine gambling to be enforced across the state. This is a clear, complete and total victory for the rule of law.”

King said he still believes the court should determine the legality of electronic bingo.

“Even though I disagree with a public policy that allows gambling, I have been proud throughout this process to stand up for the true rule of law and for all Alabamians,” King said. “The Constitution requires that I abide by the Court’s decision and I will. Accordingly, the Office of the Attorney General will immediately turn over to the Governor all bingo matters.”