Judge rules effort to close Center Stage must continue

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Dothan (WTVY)-- A state instigated lawsuit seeking to close Center Stage Alabama is moving forward after a judge refused to dismiss it.

Attorneys for the bingo casino argued that Attorney General Steve Marshall lacks jurisdiction in the matter but Houston County Circuit Judge Kevin Moulton disagrees.

Marshall filed suit in October alleging gaming terminals at Center Stage violate the state’s ban on illegal slot machines.

In 2012, nearly 700 machines and $288,000 in cash were confiscated Center Stage that later revamped its gambling operation and reopened. In 2010, Country Crossing at the same location had to close to avoid a raid by state agents.

A hearing on a preliminary injunction sought by Marshall is set March 26. If granted, Center Stage would be forced to close until a trial is held.