Monday, September 15, 2014

Even Luther Strange's Lawyers Seem To Admit That Games At VictoryLand Casino Constitute Bingo

Joe Espy and Milton McGregor

The VictoryLand forfeiture trial concluded on Friday, with even lawyers for Attorney General Luther Strange seeming to admit that the machines at the VictoryLand casino play bingo.

We certainly did not see that one coming.

The trial portion of the proceedings ended on Friday, with Judge William Shashy instructing both sides to submit briefs, which he will consider before making a final ruling. That process is expected to take about 45 days.

How did Strange's lawyers, at least in our eyes, admit that the VictoryLand machines play bingo? They seemed to focus heavily on whether the constitutional amendment allowing bingo in Macon County allowed "electronic" forms of the game. In fact, Deputy Attorney General Sonny Reagan repeatedly asked Tuskegee Mayor Johnny Ford why the word "electronic" was not in the constitutional amendment.

In the past, Strange's office had focused on the notion that the VictoryLand machines did not constitute the game commonly known as bingo, that they are slot machines or gambling devices that are illegal under Alabama statute. Perhaps I missed it, but I don't recall seeing in court documents where the Strange team argued in previous proceedings about the word "electronic" being absent from the amendment.

Is that because Strange this time did not have an expert witness to counter VictoryLand's contentions that the machines do, in fact, play bingo? Perhaps.

But by focusing on the "electronic" issue, Reagan seemed to admit that the machines play bingo. His argument this time, more or less, was: The machines are illegal because they are electronic, not because they don't play bingo.

We already have cited three grounds, under the law, that require Shashy to rule in VictoryLand's favor and force the AG's office to return machines and cash to the casino.

Reagan's argument seems to create a fourth reason that Shashy must rule in VictoryLand's favor. Perhaps that's why the Montgomery Advertiser quoted casino lawyer Joe Espy sounding confident about the outcome:

"In all my years of practicing, that was quite honestly the weakest case I've ever argued against," attorney Joe Espy said. "I don't see how the state can survive what's happened here these last four days."


Anonymous said...

tide turned, this was a litmus test, and now those that played this dangerous game in America, the globalization "New World Order", such as Karl Rove, Luther Strange, and all that did this to the USA for their own unjust enrichment, are told.

Who told 'em? China, Iran, Hungary, Russia, Turkey, and just about all the old "NATO partners" decided to not be in the same sinking ship as the USA.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a bad outing for Luther and his lawyers. I still bet they win, either before the circuit judge or the Alabama Supreme Court. Facts and law won't matter on this.

Anonymous said...

How can Big Luther win this without an expert witness? I don't see any way that can happen.

Anonymous said...

GOP wants to be back in the power position, Strange is the GOP base. The GOP is going to direct this into exactly how the GOP decides.

e.a.f. said...

Well the state can survive, if the judge simply decides to do as he is told by his republican fellow travellers.

This time Strange simply hung his argument on "electronic". Like would have thought that would have been a problem in this day and age. You can play bingo, but not if its electronic. I always suspected Alabama was a little "backward" but with an argument like Strange's, I no longer suspect, I know Alabama still hasn't entered the 20th century, let alone the 21st. Can hardly wait to see arguments about the use of electricity.

Anonymous said...

Bingo is .bingo and numbers on a card. My 5 year old knows this. There is no such thing as ELECTRONIC bingo. They are slot machines.