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Special Report

The Battle
Over e g a l
Il l
Bingo or Slot Machines? Gambling bosses want you to believe that a slot machine like this one and the game of bingo are
the same thing.

“No One Is Above The Law”

INSIDE Governor’s Task Force Enforces the Law

ince state law enforcement began in Alabama continue to operate under the
Who’s Pushing crack- guise of “charity bin-
Slot Machines ing down “Ladies and gentlemen, if we are to fulfill go,” claiming the law
in Alabama on il- our oaths to ensure that the laws are fol- does not apply to them.
legal gambling lowed, how can we permit this flagrant They’ve convinced
page 2 last year, a federal and rampant violation of the law to go
public officials to abet
on? Men and women of principle must
judge, two circuit act now – and act decisively – to ensure their criminal activity
judges and the that the rule of law is not some hollow by turning a blind eye
Immunity for Alabama Supreme standard that is cast aside whenever to the rule of law.
Court have all people with enough money and enough
Casino Bosses? agreed that so- influence decide that the law does not
Governor Bob Ri-
apply to them.”
page 3 called “electronic – Governor Bob Riley, in his State ley made it clear in his
bingo” isn’t bingo of the State address, January 12, 2010 State of the State that
at all. no one would be al-
lowed to break the law
The Real Cost Of Casinos have now been shut down in in Alabama – no matter how powerful or
Casino Gambling Madison, Walker, Mobile and Jefferson politically connected they are. He also
page 4 Counties. Law enforcement there have called upon all public officials to stand up
been diligent in enforcing the law. How- to big money casino bosses and live up to
ever, despite those rulings, casino bosses their oaths of office to uphold the law.
Alabama bingo fight resurrects
Phenix City memories for John Patterson
Excerpts from article by Robin ... “I don’t like it a bit in the
 “Gambling brings the bad people to town and brings out the bad world,” Patterson said when
DeMonia, The Birmingham
in good people. There’s nothing about it that’s good. ... I called him last week to ask.
News, January 3, 2010

  Pretty soon, you’ll find the kingpins sitting up in the Senate gal- “You can put bingo across the
ther Alabamians may have lery, giving a thumb’s up or a thumb’s down to tell people how to top of a slot machine; it’s still a
reasons to hate gambling. vote. I despise that.” slot machine.” ... Patterson, now
But few have as good a – Former Governor John Patterson, whose father was assass- 88 and recovering from serious
reason as John Patterson. inated after trying to shut down illegal gambling in Phenix City heart surgery four months ago,
In 1954, Patterson’s father was has watched with dismay as this
a martyr in the campaign to clean form of gambling took root in
up Phenix City. Albert Patterson had waged the state, aided by the blessings of some public
a victorious race for attorney general on the officials and the paralysis of others.  He fears
promise to rid “the wickedest city in America” other cities will live to regret opening the door
of gambling and other illegal enterprises. to gambling, which he believes will lead to
... Before he could take office, the elder everything from prostitution to political cor-
Patterson was shot dead outside the law office ruption.
he shared with his son. John Patterson was ... Lest you think Patterson’s fears are a bit
elected attorney general in his father’s place, overblown, remember: A sheriff’s deputy was
determined to restore law and order in Phenix convicted of Albert Patterson’s murder. The
City. ... You can’t read the parts about Phenix local district attorney also was implicated, but
City [in When Good Men Do Nothing: The As- Albert Fuller points to blood on a sidewalk in was acquitted. The state attorney general, also
sassination of Albert Patterson] without spot- charged, never went to trial.
Phenix City, Alabama, after the murder of Albert
ting parallels to today’s battles over electronic Patterson. Fuller, chief deputy sheriff of Russell ... “There’s a group of people in the Leg-
bingo — or wondering what Patterson thinks County, was one of three men indicted for the mur- islature who think gambling is the answer to
of it all. der of Albert Patterson. Courtesy Alabama Depart- all their problems,” he said. “Gambling never
ment of Archives and History solved any damn problem.”

Frank Fahrenkopf, CEO of the American Gaming Association —

the largest pro-gambling lobby in our country — said not long ago that he
would vote against a casino if it were to be built in his hometown.   

Who’s pushing slot machines in Alabama? 

ust before the 2009 Legisla- restraining order legislative nities? Who are we handing the
“The absolute lowest rung of
tive Session, the Executive to protect his ca- races to pro- keys of our state government to?
our industry’s ladder has set
Secretary of the Alabama sino from a legal tect their em- At a recent casino trade show
up shop in Alabama,” includ-
teachers’ union hosted what The search warrant. pire, which, in Las Vegas, Gary Green, Syn-
Birmingham News called a “con- • Paul Hub- ing “companies and individu- according to ergy Gaming Executive Vice-
clave of gambling interests” to bert, leader of als that have been thrown The News, President, a gambling industry
discuss legalizing slot machine Alabama’s teach- out of almost every legitimate will “create leader said ... “The absolute
gambling in the state. ers’ union, who gaming State.” an absolute lowest rung of our industry’s
It has been reported that this made almost $10 – Gary Green, Synergy Gam- stranglehold ladder has set up shop in Ala-
“conclave” included: million in politi- ing Executive Vice President on govern- bama,” including “companies
• Milton McGregor, Alabama’s cal contributions ment.” and individuals that have been
chief gambling magnate, who during the last election cycle. This begs some serious ques- thown out of almost every legiti-
sends millions in contributions to Surely, if the coalition prevails, tions. Just who else is a part of mate gaming State.”
elected officials. they stand to make billions off this coalition that is pushing leg- Alabamians should think twice
• Ronnie Gilley, a casino devel- the backs of Alabama’s poorest islation to decriminalize gambling about who we are inviting into our
oper who, with the aid of local citizens. Additionally, they will in the state? What shady figures state and our communities.
politicians, obtained an illegal spend untold millions in Alabama are we inviting into our commu-
Casino Bosses Would Get Criminal and Civil Immunity,

Won’t Be Required To Pay Taxes
House Committee: Casino Bosses Can’t Be Sued,
Can’t Be Prosecuted or Required To Pay Taxes

n an alarming development this connections in the Legislature to pass
legislative session, the House of a bill that would put them above the
Representa- law.
tives Tourism Ordinary citi-
and Travel Com- This bill puts the casino zens have to pay
mittee approved taxes and obey
a bill that, if
cartel above the law, in every law. But if
enacted, would every way. If they com- this bill passes,
give casinos to- mit a crime, they can’t be big-money ca-
tal amnesty from prosecuted. If they wrong sinos would be
taxes, criminal someone, they can’t be exempt from
prosecution and sued. They don’t even taxation and im-
civil lawsuits. mune from pros-
This could allow
have to pay taxes. As a ecution for violat-
casinos to be op- nation, we believe NO ing Alabama’s
“ ... now after all of these judgments, the only erated anywhere ONE is above the law. gambling laws.
people who say these machines are legal are the in Alabama, But, THEY WILL BE. This Could it really
casino bosses and their supporters ...” largely out of is an insult to every law- be true that the
– Governor Bob Riley the reach of state money and power
abiding, tax-paying citi-
and local law wielded by ca-
The Supreme Court of Alabama, our state’s highest enforcement.
zen and shows just how sino bosses over
court, held:  “The machines at issue ‘have none of For years, ca- far their greed and arro- this legislature
the elements of human skill and interaction that are sinos in Alabama gance goes. has clouded our
fundamental to the game of bingo.’” have operated in elected represen-
 “...[W]e must conclude that the term ‘bingo’ ... flagrant viola- tatives’ judgment
was intended to reference the game commonly or tion of the law. to this degree?
traditionally known as bingo.” Now, fearful that the law is finally And if they will go so far as to place
– Barber v. Cornerstone Community Outreach catching up to them, casino casino bosses above the law, how
November 13, 2009 operators are working their political much farther would they go?


Join the fight against illegal gambling.
Call your representative or senator and tell them to say NO to casinos in Alabama.
House of Representatives: 334-242-7600
Senate: 334-242-7800
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The Real Costs of Casino Gambling
Casinos cause more crime. ing the 2006 campaign cycle.  Casinos cost
• The crime rate for ca-
taxpayers more
sino communities is 84% Casinos
higher than the national than they
do not rescue jobs
generate in tax revenue.
• Two years after the or state budgets • For every $1 casinos contribute in taxes,
introduction of casinos
in Gulfport, prostitution from economic casinos cost taxpayers at least $3 in addi-
tional government programs and services to
arrests were up 85% and downturns. manage the consequences.
ten categories of violent • Nevada, the epicenter of
crime were up by 64%. legalized gambling, has the
2nd highest unemployment Casinos prey on the poor and
Casino gambling destroys rate in the nation (12.9%) and ranks #1 in middle-class, redistributing
home foreclosures.
families. • Nevada is hemorrhaging tax revenue, their incomes to rich, out-of-
• Four years after casinos opened in Harri-
son County, Mississippi, the annual number
leading to a projected $2.1 billion budget state gambling interests.
shortfall for 2011. • “Economically speaking, gambling is a
of divorces nearly tripled. • Casinos have not regressive tax. Money spent on gambling is
• Between 10-17% of chil- prevented “the biggest bud- money not spent on milk.” Dr. Keivan De-
dren of compulsive gam- get crisis Mississippi ravi, Auburn University Montgomery
blers have been abused. has seen in almost a centu- • 80% of gambling revenue comes from
• A woman whose partner is ry.” Hattiesburg American, households with incomes of less than
a problem gambler is 10.5 December 20, 2009 $50,000 a year.
times more likely to be the
victim of domestic abuse.
Casinos destroy Where does the money go?
Casinos corrupt local businesses White Hall Financial Data
public officials and shift profits
and the political to major out-of- 15.04%
process. state gambling 9.32%
• “Three years after gambling was legalized outfits.
in Louisiana, gambling interests accounted • 55 counties that got casinos between 1990
for one of every three dollars making their and 1992 showed no significant economic
way into Louisiana lawmak- benefits.
ers’ campaign coffers…” The 64.79%
• More than 70% of busi-
Birmingham News, August 26, nesses in Natchez, Missi-
2009 ssippi, reported declining sales
• The gambling industry in within a few months of the
Ohio recently outspent its opening of that city’s first river-
opponents $47 million to $9 boat. Salaries and wages
million to win a statewide • $12.5 million, or 65% of the Money for charities
referendum to legalize casino “bingo” revenue at White Hall,
gambling. is paid to out-of-state gambling “Other” expenses
• Groups pushing to legalize machine suppliers in the form Licensing fees to
Las Vegas style gambling in of so-called “software licensing out-of-state slot machine
Alabama reported giving $11.3 fees.” companies
million to influence votes dur-

PAID FOR BY CITIZENS FOR A BETTER ALABAMA, P.O. Box 382945, Birmingham, AL 35238,