The result of the never ending battle over bingo in Alabama and Governor Riley’s task Force on Illegal Gambling ruthless raids on bingo halls in the state has been to shut down bingo halls and kill jobs for the residents of the state. The needless bingo war has robbed the people of a harmless form of entertainment and has caused many to question the ethics of the governor and what many people see as an illegal task force with unfounded powers.
One bingo hall owner, a Mr. Ronnie Gilley, owner of the Country Crossing bingo hall, has offered himself up a sacrificial lamb of sorts to stop the madness. Gilley’s Country Crossing has remained shut down after fearing raids, but Gilley has offered to have himself arrested so he can present his case for the rest of the bingo hall owners. The crux of the case is that the bingo machines are deemed illegal, Gilley hopes that if he can get arrested he can prove once in for all in a court of justice that the bingo machines are not slot machines and that they are in fact legal. It’s a sad day when a business man is forced to take such measures just because the legal process and due diligence has completely deteriorated.
It’s a little strange that the task force is willing to recklessly raid unknowing bingo halls, but they are yet to arrest Gilley who has willfully offered himself up to authorities. The only other hope for a resolution to this stalemate is in November when Governor Riley is expected to leave office and the gambling friendly Ron Sparks, currently a candidate in running will have a chance to lobby for office. Until then, residents of Alabama and former employees of the bingo halls remain unemployed and families continue to suffer in this trying economic times, so bravo Gov Riley, way to make a difference.