Bingo Battle Balloons into Brouhaha

Bingo cardAnd the Bingo plot thickened today after another round of dueling press conferences between Alabama Attorney General Troy King and the Commander of the Governor’s Task Force on Illegal Gambling, John Tyson. Late in the day, a Macon County Circuit Judge weighed in on things and two gaming facilities bingo halls casinos?… um. Well they announced they would reopen.

And we’re off:

As Walt posted below, Troy King convened the press this afternoon to announce his takeover of the Task Force, saying he had “relieved” John Tyson of his position. Read King’s full statement here.

Two hours later, John Tyson convened the press to say: fat chance.

“Mr. King’s press conference today is yet another delaying tactic so gambling interests can keep raking in money which they use to try to frustrate law enforcement.”

He fired five bullet points outlining why he didn’t plan on leaving his post with the Task Force and why King had no power to intervene with cabinet-level agencies. Here’s the first two:

“1. The Task Force was created by the Governor of Alabama, and the Attorney General has absolutely no ability to dictate how it will be operated.

2. I was appointed as Commander of the Task Force by the Governor. I serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The Attorney General has no more right to replace me than do the casino bosses.”

Tyson always impresses me with his delivery but today he was more adamant than ever:

“Make no mistake. What the Attorney General is doing today is a cynical effort to protect a few of his gambling buddies from equal enforcement of the law. It is part of a long pattern of acts and omissions by the Attorney General to perpetuate this unlawful activity.”

Read Tyson’s entire statement here.

Also this afternoon, a Macon County Circuit Judge extended a TRO against the Task Force, which purportedly barred it from exercising authority in any county except Mobile (where Tyson is DA.) During hearings last week, that breadth of scope was limited to Macon County, where VictoryLand casino is located.

Also this afternoon, the Country Crossing and White Hall casinos announced they would reopen. But I’m pretty sure those announcements were drawn up after King’s presser, but before Tyson’s. Country Crossing, for instance, released a statement which reads in part:

We have sought a declaratory judgment in this matter since the antics and drama of the Task Force escalated in early January. We applaud Attorney General King’s decision to seek a civil declaratory judgment to resolve this issue in a court of law.

That would only make sense if Tyson hadn’t rebuked King’s efforts to take over the Task Force.


Clear as mud?  Stay tuned…

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12 comments to Bingo Battle Balloons into Brouhaha

  • princeliberty

    Troy Kings is shamelessly do the working of the gambling interests.
    He is de facto employee of Milton McGregor. The most important issue is not gambling but the corruption issue.

  • Anonymous

    Right on, princeliberty. It’s clear King has let his personal connections to the casino operators sway his position. The Supreme Court has stated 3 times in the past 3 months that declaratory judgment actions are not the proper course to settle this issue. Yet he and his gambling buddies keep throwing up legal roadblock after roadblock. What a mess, and all of it was started by King himself.

  • nunya

    Luther Strange for AG!!!!

  • anonymous

    Noticed how Country Crossing announced its reopening only minutes after King’s conference. Guess this explains King’s unpublished meeting with Harrianne Smith, Mark Culver, Rickey Stokes, and few other locals behind the sliding doors at Hunt’s Restaurant, Dothan, last week. Pretty sure now they had a heads up.

    Gilley made a post under a thread on Wiregrasslive a few days ago that “we” would be introducing a new bill in the senate this week. Guess he and THE gambling boss helped write Bedford’s new bill.

    Hope HAS and King hit the curb. Both bought and paid for. Can’t understand how Bedford gets elected.

  • Piggieheart

    A plague on both their houses! Yes, King is in the pocket of Alabama gambling interests; and Riley/Tyson in the pockets of Mississippi gambling interests. High road? We ain’t got no stinkin’ high road!

  • princeliberty

    King is failing to uphold the law. Riley as least now is trying to uphold the law. Riley does need to answer the question as why he waited so long to act. However, Riley’s delay does not change the law or serve as any kind of defense to King.

  • Anonymous

    AP reports that Bedford’s new gambling bill (written with the help of Ronnie Gilley and Milton McGregor and Troy King) “no longer specifies where electronic bingo casinos would be located. That would be up to the Legislature to decide later.”

    So vote for this garbage in November, folks and come January a simple majority in the House and Senate could put a casino across the street from your neighborhood or even across the street from your kid’s school.

  • waltm

    Cities and towns wouldn’t have zoning authority to restrict where businesses locate? Out in the county might be a problem for some but thats a trade off for doing what you want with your own land.

  • likeidtell

    thats just silly, of course they cant put up casinos across from your house, im pretty sure zoning covers that. and no gamblings not always pretty, and just like everything else it takes self control, and like everything else some people just dont have it.but that doesnt mean the government should shield everyone from it. we cant let them decide what we come into contact with and not.its our right not to mention responibility to make the choice ourselves wheter or not to play, and if we get out of hand, still our fault. wheres personal accountability? everyone expect the government to protect you? from anything? where have you been living? they only time they “protect” us when its in thier best intrest. ie- bob rileys pockets. we shouldnt be begging the state to decide whether or not we can play bingo. we should be telling them where to go for infringing on our personal rights for the sake of thier bank accounts. if they had to use a tax law to make drugs illegal because its unconstitutional to tell the american people what they can and cant put in thier own bodies, how did we get to the point that we have to beg “riley-may-i” to play some bingo???? wake up.

  • likeidtell

    oh and this statement really bothers me princeofliberty

    “The most important issue is not gambling but the corruption issue.”

    as if to suggest that we can trust the government to protect us from corruption when its like the glue that holds them together. expecting that they will is what got the country in the mess were in now. we’re suuposed to watch and moniter insted of giving them a trusting free reign. i dont want the government to start deciding what to protect me from, thats why i was given a brain. its like those bad movies where the supercomputer takes over because its knows whats best for the people who created it. theyre not supposed to be deciding what we do, theyre supposed to be doing what we decide, its part of thier job descrption.

  • Howey

    Does Troy realize that college-age homosexuals aren’t playing internet bingo in Ala?

    At least not THAT kind of bingo.

  • alluring alliteration

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