Bingo! Or not.
March 5, 2010 4:27 PM   Subscribe

Alabama Governor Bob Riley has recently begun a crusade against electronic bingo machines in the state. His task force has conducted massive raids on bingo parlors in the state, some involving 150 state troopers at once. Riley's own Attorney General disagrees with the Governor and thinks the parlors are legal. Citizens are deeply divided on the issue. Owners are fighting back through the courts and by surrendering their liquor licenses.

One sheriff has stated that he will block any attempt to raid a bingo parlor in his jurisdiction unless the task force has a warrant in hand.

And now, one bingo parlor has decided to reopen.
posted by wierdo (17 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I was in Dothan last week, and folks were still all atwitter about the raids. At the time I thought it was at most a mild curiosity, but as I've had more time to look into it, it seems like blatant abuse of power by the Governor.

One estimate I heard was that each raid of these bingo parlors costs around $150,000 in overtime. Normally at 4 AM, there are a mere eight state troopers on duty in the entire state.
posted by wierdo at 4:29 PM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

I... thought for sure this was another "this day in history" type MeFi post...
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:35 PM on March 5, 2010

That'll teach those violent, dangerous bingo players! It's about time somebody did something about such menaces to society!
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 4:38 PM on March 5, 2010

Ah, southern Republicans.

Alabama top rankings.

Alabama bottom rankings.

Lots of stuff that should be switched on those two lists, and none of em is electronic bingo.
posted by nevercalm at 4:39 PM on March 5, 2010 [6 favorites]

Governor Riley caught coming out of a bingo parlor; It Gets Much Worse
posted by GuyZero at 4:50 PM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

Is it 1953?
posted by Nothing... and like it at 5:28 PM on March 5, 2010

In Alabama, yes.
posted by squorch at 5:32 PM on March 5, 2010 [4 favorites]

Riley is grandstanding for the Bible-thumpers in hopes of an eventual Senate seat. Attorney-general Troy King is, in my opinion, an incompetent and deeply conflicted individual who will implode in a spectacular and entertaining scandal in a few years -- he's not making many friends on Goat Hill, and there's all sorts of folks with deep pockets and zoom lenses just salivating at the thought of taking Our Boy Troy down a couple of pegs. Oh, and Birmingham's former mayor, Larry Langford, just went down for a federal fifteen on 60 counts of assorted malfeasances. Ah, the Heart of Dixie. Livin' the dream.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 6:49 PM on March 5, 2010

Oh, and we have made a little bit of progress since 1953. I mean, hey, there's a black guy representing Cullman in the state senate. Cullman! The town so racist even racists think they're racist. So. Baby steps.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 7:05 PM on March 5, 2010

little known fact: illicit bingo funds terrorism
posted by Primofex at 7:09 PM on March 5, 2010

Bingo is a gateway to Pinball.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:11 PM on March 5, 2010

Well, there goes any hope Missouri had of a balanced budget.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 7:21 PM on March 5, 2010

Lots of stuff that should be switched on those two lists, and none of em is electronic bingo.

Presidential Elections > 1960 > Popular Votes for Orval Faubus

Absolutely. Orval Faubus should have gotten way more votes in Alabama.
posted by armage at 7:54 PM on March 5, 2010

I guess my biggest problem is the use of extraordinary force. Violent raids against actors who clearly believe they are operating within the law aren't just unnecessary. They are an insult to the law itself. Look, you do a raid if there's a real chance that violence might result. Nobody wants dead troopers.

Somehow, I just don't think Electronic Bingo parlors are going to put up any physical resistance to a lawful order to shut down. So, you've got to ask, why the force?

The only answer is that the order is not all that lawful, and that's just scary. Having the Attorney General say this explicitly is doubly so.
posted by effugas at 12:08 AM on March 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

Why can't these people gamble and lose their money in the stock market like good Americans?
posted by MattMangels at 7:56 PM on March 6, 2010

Just try and take my drive-thru daiquiri joints. (I don't live anywhere near AL, but please, don't take em)
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:47 PM on March 6, 2010

(P.S. do they have daiquiris in Alabama? I know they're all over Lafayette...)
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:48 PM on March 6, 2010

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