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Illegal machines, cash seized at Southern Starcomment (0)

November 8, 2012


More than 350 machines were seized from Southern Star Entertainment Center in White Hall after a search warrant was served Nov. 2. The machines, along with an undisclosed amount of cash, will be held as evidence and will be subject to a forfeiture procedure in the Circuit Court of Lowndes County, according to a press release from Attorney General Luther Strange.

The search warrant, issued in response to illegal gambling operations, was served by law enforcement agents from the attorney general’s office and the Alabama Department of Public Safety. The Lowndes County sheriff also provided security for the execution of the search warrant.

“Today’s actions are the culmination of an investigative process over the last several months,” Strange said Nov. 2. “From my first day in office I have worked to ensure that illegal gambling laws are enforced consistently across the state.”

Southern Star Entertainment recently re-opened in August with so-called “electronic bingo” machines that state law enforcement agents determined were illegal. Southern Star Entertainment had shut its doors again in September.

“Until the Alabama Legislature acts to create an effective deterrent for large-scale illegal gambling, individuals will continue to engage in illegal gambling activity and openly defy the law,” Strange said. 

“Law enforcement will continue to be forced to expend valuable resources to deal with the statewide problem, as we have recently seen in Walker County and Etowah County. The Legislature must change that weakness in our law and create a badly needed deterrent for large-scale illegal gambling by increasing the penalty for operating an illegal slot machine casino to a felony,” Strange concluded.  

(TAB)

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