Alabama AG cracks down on illegal gambling facilities

Welcome to Alabama sign
Image: Shutterstock

Another state is taking steps against a growing number of illegal gambling facilities in the state. According to several local outlets, state Attorney General Steve Marshall issued warrants for several bingo halls throughout Jefferson County on Tuesday.

The raid impacted 14 different bingo halls, four of which Marshall took legal action against in 2019. The end result of that action was several million dollars in unpaid taxes going to the state.

During a press conference about the raid, Marshall explained why he felt compelled to take action.

“The law-abiding citizens who live around these facilities and who own property in these areas are the forgotten victims of these type of establishments, establishments that are historically associated with thefts, fraud, gangs, drugs and ultimately violence,’’ he said. “The good people of these communities deserve better than illicit casinos in their neighborhoods, and they deserve to have elected officials who are willing to keep it out.”

Alabama is a state with very little in the way of gambling options. The state has legal racetracks and the lottery, but no casinos and no sports betting.

What is somewhat unprecedented about Marshall’s actions is that usually crackdowns on these types of establishments is done at the local level as opposed to from a state official. However, this crackdown was done in tandem with Birmingham-area law enforcement and the state AG’s office.

“The chairman of the county commission asked for our office’s resources as well as various legislators and numerous citizens and so we are here. There will be more to come as we examine all of the evidence collected. Laws are laws,” Marshall added.

During the raid, authorities seized several illegal gambling machines. Notices are posted that the establishments are currently closed to the public.