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Riley Letter Casinos

Riley Letter Casinos

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Published by John S Keppy
Letter from Former Alabama Governor Bob Riley concerning lies from gambling interests
Letter from Former Alabama Governor Bob Riley concerning lies from gambling interests

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Categories:Types, Letters
Published by: John S Keppy on Jun 19, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/20/2012

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OFFICEOFTHEGOVERNORSTATECAPITOLMONTGOMERY,ALABAMA
36130
BOBRILEYGOVERNOR
(334)242-7100
FAX:
(334)242-0937
STATEOFALABAMA
October30,2009DearSenator/Representative:IamawarethatmembersoftheLegislaturerecentlyreceivedaletterfromDr.RandyBrinsonwhichasserted,basedonanewspaperarticle,thatIndiancasinosinAlabamawouldnotbeaffectedbyanAlabamaSupremeCourtrulingonso-called"electronicbingo."Dr.Brinson'sletterparrotstheself-servingdeclarationsofcasinoownersandaspiringcasinoownersaroundtheState.Otherindividualshavealsomisrepresented(orintentionallydistorted)thelawintheirquotesinnewspaperreports.Therefore,Iamwritingyoutocorrecttherecord-notwithnewspaperstories,butwithcopiesofofficialfederaldocumentsthatdisprovetheseclaims.Havingsufferedthecripplingblowofthreemajorjudicialdefeatsinarow,organizedgamblinginterestsandtheirallieshavelaunchedamassivenewmisinformationcampaign.Theirliesarepartofadesperate,last-ditchattempttoconyouintodoingwhatrespectedAlabamajudgeshaveproperlyrefusedtodo-legalizefull-blownslot-machinegamblinginAlabamaandcallit"bingo."Indecliningtolegalizetheseillicitgamblingmachines,
thecourtshaveadheredtothemostfundamentalofconservativejudicialprinciples-thatonlytheLegislature,notthecourts,canchangeStatelawtolegalizeslotmachinesandcasinos.
Alabamianscanbethankfulthatthesejudgeshaverejectedthekindofliberaljudicialactivismitwouldtaketoredefinetheinnocentgameweallknowas"bingo"toallowforawholesalelegalizationofslot-machinegamblinginAlabama.Havingfailedintheireffortstochangethelawbyjudicialdecree,thegamblinginterestsareonceagainturningtoyou,theLegislature.Seekingnothingbuttheir
own
salvation,theyarepreachingthefalsegospelthatastatewidereferendumonelectronic"bingo"-theireuphemismforslotmachines-isthewaytoclearupthelegalconfusionthatthegamblinginterestsandtheirsupportershavecreated.Nowtheyarespreadingtheirmessagethroughsurrogateswhoeitherdon'tunderstandthelawordeliberatelydistortit.
 
October30,2009Page2of8Forexample,itappearstheyhaveconvincedDr.Brinsonthat"eveniftheAlabamaSupremeCourtrulesinsuchawaythatelectronicbingoisfoundtobeillegal,aslongaspaperbingoisallowed,theIndianswillbeallowedtocontinuetheir[electronic]gamingoperationstherebycreatingamonopolyfortheIndians."ThereisnoevidencethatDr.Brinson'sletterrepresentstheviewsoftheChristianCoalitionmembershiporthatitwasapprovedbyanygoverningboardofthatorganization.Butyoucanbetonething-thegamblinginterestscertainlyapproveofit.Makenomistake,basedonthefederaldocumentationwehavereceived,theclaimthatourenforcementofAlabama'santi-gamblinglawsintheAlabamaSupremeCourtwillguaranteeexclusiverightstoIndiancasinosisabaldfacedlie.Thetruthis...AccordingtotheNationalIndianGamingCommission(NIGC)-thefederalagencyresponsibleforinterpretingandenforcingIndiangaminglaw-fullyautomated"electronicbingo"machinesare
not
permissibleClassIIbingogames,
butClassIIIslotmachines,
whichordinarilyrequireastate-tribecompact.WehavebeeninformedthattheonlyreasonthefederalgovernmentisallowingIndiancasinosinAlabamatorunClassIII"electronicbingo"slotmachinestodayisbecausethesameformofgamblingisgoing
on-andhasbeentoleratedforyears-at
non-Indianfacilitiesacrossthestate.Ofcourse,thisissomethingourTaskForceonIllegalGamblingisworkingtocorrect,Inotherwords,previousfailurestoenforcetheState'santi-gamblinglawshascreatedthemistakenimpressioninWashingtonthatslotmachinegamblingofthe"electronicbingo"varietyispermissibleinAlabama.ButifweaggressivelyenforceStatelawandtheAlabamaSupremeCourtupholdsit,thefederalgovernmentwillhavenosoundbasisforcontinuingtoallowIndiancasinostofloutthefederallawagainstClassIIIgamblinginAlabama.
 
October30,2009Page3of8Sohowdidthingsgettothispoint?
1.
NIGCinformsAlabamathatfullyautomated"electronicbingo"is
not
Class
II
bingo,butClass
III
slotmachines.Asyouknow,afederaljudgeruledso-called"electronicbingo"machinesinMadisonCountyillegallastmonth.ThatrulingwasfollowedthisweekbyStatecourtdecisionsinWalkerandJeffersonCounties,bothofwhichheldthatthesefullyautomatedslot-machine-stylegamesare
not
thegamecommonlyknownasbingothatisnarrowlyauthorizedbycharitybingoamendmentstotheAlabamaConstitution.WhenaskedabouttherecentgamblingdecisionsinWalkerandJeffersonCounties,AttorneyGeneralTroyKingresponded,"Thiswholebusinessthatyou'vegottocallbingoandyou'vegottodaub[thenumberedspacesonabingocard],itseemstomethatthat'ssomethingthathasbeen
gubernatoriallyandjudiciallymadeup.
NowIdon'tseethatinthelawanywhere.
,,1
Letmesettherecordstraight.Overfiveyearsago,onOctober19,2004,theNationalIndianGamingCommission(NIGC)informedAttorneyGeneralKing,inwriting,thatafullyautomatedelectronic"bingo"machineinwhichaplayer"wouldinsertmoneyintothemachine,presstheplaybuttonandthegamewouldplaybyItself"
isnotbingo
underfederallawandNIGCguidance.TheNIGCexplainedtoMr.Kinginverycleartermsthat"[g]amesplayedinthismannerdonotmeetourunderstandingofaClass
II
lectronicbingogame.Ouradvisoryopinionshaveemphasizedtheneedforplayerstoparticipateinthebingogamebytakingfurtheractionstocoverthenumbersonthecards."Accordingtotheletter,anNIGCfieldinvestigatorhaddiscoveredseveraloftheseClassIIIfullyautomated"bingo"slotsattheVictoryland,Greenetrack,andWhiteHallcasinosandclearlywantedtheStatetoknowaboutthem?ThislettercouldandshouldhavebeentheState'sfirstcluethatthefederalgovernmentwaskeenlyinterestedinwhethertheStatewouldenforceStatelawagainstthesemachinesbeforetheNIGCwouldtakeanyenforcementactionagainstIndiancasinos.
I
TheBirminghamNews,
October27,2009(emphasisadded).
2
AtthetimeoftheNIGCfieldinvestigator'sinspections,onlyabout30percentofthemachinesinspectedfitthis"fullyautomated"description.Today,basedonourongoinginvestigations,weknowthatvirtuallyalloftheso-called"electronicbingo"machinesinAlabamafitthisdescription.

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