Etowah County Commission approves moratorium on electronic bingocomment (0)
March 28, 2013
There will be no movement in Etowah County on electronic-bingo related issues — at least for the time being. The Etowah County Commission’s indefinite moratorium on electronic bingo-related actions in the county was approved March 19.
Commission Chairman Joey Statum said the moratorium will prevent electronic bingo proposals to be presented to the commission as well as prevent the commission from considering or talking about those proposals until the question of electronic bingo’s legality in the state is settled, according to a WEAC TV 24 news report.
This moratorium also will keep commissioners from extending an agreement with a bingo developer and will keep other developers from applying for a permit, according to a news report in The Gadsden Times.
“It will save the county a lot of money to wait on a court of competent jurisdiction or the Legislature to do something to determine whether electronic bingo is legal or not,” Sheriff Todd Entrekin said in The Gadsden Times report.
Also March 19, Macon County Circuit Judge Tom Young decided that he would not step down from the VictoryLand casino forfeiture case.
The ruling came after a motion from Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange’s office that requested Young recuse himself from the case. Strange’s office said Young has shown prejudice against the case due to his initial refusal to sign a search warrant for the recent raid at VictoryLand, according to an al.com news report.
During the raid Feb. 19, more than 1,000 electronic gambling machines and more than $200,000 in cash were seized from VictoryLand. Following its order directing Young to issue the warrant that allowed the raid, the Supreme Court of Alabama issued a 46-page opinion March 1 explaining the reasons Young was wrong to deny the State’s application for the search warrant.
A date has not been set for the forfeiture case. Strange’s office is considering whether it will appeal Young’s decision to preside over the case, according to a statement by Alabama Deputy Attorney General Sonny Reagan. “Regardless, the attorney general’s office intends to aggressively pursue a speedy trial in order to get a final ruling regarding electronic bingo in Macon County,” Reagan said.