Governor Riley Comments on Supreme Court Ruling
MONTGOMERY – The Alabama Supreme Court unanimously agreed today that Governor Bob Riley has the authority to ensure that Alabama’s laws against illegal gambling will be enforced. The Supreme Court rejected the effort by Attorney General Troy King to assume control over the Governor’s Task Force on Illegal Gambling.
“The Attorney General’s effort to hijack the Task Force was an illegal power grab designed to protect casino bosses. In light of this ruling, the casino bosses’ days of protection from law enforcement are over,” said Governor Riley. “I formed the Task Force only because the Attorney General failed to perform his duty to ensure that Alabama’s anti-gambling laws are enforced.
“This ruling clears the way for Alabama’s laws against slot-machine gambling to be enforced across the state. This is a clear, complete and total victory for the rule of law."
In the ruling, the Supreme Court also indicated that Governor Riley’s position that “bingo” cannot be played on slot machines is correct under numerous prior Alabama court decisions. “This ruling should put the nail in the coffin for so-called electronic bingo in this state,” said Governor Riley.
In the ruling, the Supreme Court indicated that Governor Riley’s position that “bingo” cannot be played on slot machines is correct under numerous prior Alabama court decisions. “This ruling makes clear again that you cannot play bingo on a slot machine, and it should put the nail in the coffin for so-called electronic bingo in this state,” said Governor Riley.
The Supreme Court also rejected Attorney General King’s plan to file civil declaratory judgment actions. The Attorney General’s plan would have allowed the slot machine parlors to stay in business while the cases slowly progressed through the courts. The Attorney General’s plan ignored prior Supreme Court decisions that made clear that declaratory judgment actions in these circumstances are not permitted. Today, the Supreme Court confirmed that “Attorney General King’s proposed course of conduct would be a nullity.”
Attorney General King has also suggested that the Task Force could not conduct raids of slot machine halls without a warrant. The Supreme Court shot down that argument too. The Court stated that it was “well settled” that law enforcement does not need a warrant to search public areas of a business establishment.