What does the law really say about electronic bingo gambling?



This episode examines the debate surrounding electronic bingo and what the law says about these electronic gaming machines. Program host Gibson Vance welcomes Montgomery attorney Joe Espy to help clear up the confusion surrounding the issue. Espy became involved in the debate in 2010 when the federal government began pursuing criminal charges against various people associated with electronic gambling at Victoryland casino, located in Macon County, Ala. Espy represented Victoryland owner Milton McGregor in the criminal case. McGregor was ultimately found not guilty by unanimous vote in a jury trial. There is still litigation underway in Houston, Greene and Macon counties surrounding the issue of electronic gambling. At issue is the difference between slot machines and electronic bingo machines. A slot machine can operate independently, while an electronic bingo machine will only play in cooperation with other machines. Electronic bingo machines are linked together in groups by computers. Players are competing against the computer and several other players. Espy says electronic bingo machines comply with Alabama laws governing bingo and electronic gaming. Espy feels the people’s right to vote on the issue is being denied. He says he believes Victoryland and other electronic bingo casinos are economic development engines, with a tremendous impact in both job creation and tax revenue. It is projected that allowing electronic bingo gambling would generate revenues statewide of more than $1 billion.

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