FBI Cracks Down On Electronic Bingo in Alabama USA

Published Monday, October 04, 2010 - Online-Casinos.com

The Federal Bureau of Investigation in the USA arrested several people recently in connection with charges relating to vote buying in an effort to get a bill passed that would have electronic bingo legalized. The owner of Alabama's largest casino, VictoryLand, four state senators and several prominent lobbyists have been indicted on federal charges.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the individuals were accused of conspiring to make payments and campaign donations to promote, "pro-gambling legislation."

The now defunct VictoryLand casino owner Milton McGregor and Country Crossing casino developer Ronnie Gilley, state Senators Harri Anne Smith, James Prueitt, Larry Means and Quinton Ross Jr. were among those arrested across the state.

The US Justice Department, said in a statement to the press that the accused acted "in a conspiracy to offer and bribe legislators for their votes and influence on proposed legislation."
Lobbyists Tom Coker and Bob Geddie, representing the casino VictoryLand, lobbyist Jarrod Massey and public-relations executive Jay Walker, representing Country Crossing, and Ray Crosby, an attorney for the Legislature, were also arrested and charged on various criminal charges. 

A grand-jury investigation in Montgomery, Alabama resulted in the indictments. An announcement that a probe into illegal electronic bingo machines was made just before the legislatures the final votes on the bill, which failed when sponsors could not muster the necessary votes for passage.

McGregor's casino VictoryLand had 6000 electronic bingo machines in operation before the owner closed it in August to avoid an investigation.
The Justice Department, "alleges that Senator Means, solicited bribes from McGregor, Gilley, Massey and others, and, in one specific instance, sought $100,000 in return for voting positive on the legislation."

The Poarch Creek Indian casinos were not affected by the probe and still remain in business although all other privately operated electronic-bingo casinos were effective shut down by the federal investigators.

Corruption at this level should be dealt with severely by the courts, and the individuals involved should indeed be brought to justice.



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