Las Vegas, Nevada (PRWEB) November 18, 2009
A leading slot machine vendor and management company took aim at Alabamas fledging charity bingo operators during the casino industrys largest trade show and a meeting of hundreds of casino professionals in Las Vegas this week.
Synergy Gamings Gary Green warned the gathering that based on my decades of experience, I have observed that Alabamas bingo halls seem to be wrought with wanna-be gangsters, illegal slot machines, and very shady commercial casino operations posing as charities.
At the same time, Green praised the six guidelines issued last week by the Alabama Supreme Court saying, if every vendor complies with these guidelines, then the Court has just legalized and regulated the games. Unfortunately they did not address the issue of business model.
A recent court case in Alabama (Walker County Circuit CV-2007-0400), however concurred with Green that at least some of the operational models are illegal. The same court closed down a number casinos purportedly operated by charities but found, by the court, to be illegal commercial operations.
Unless the courts step in and clean up the mess, these elements are going to cause untold suffering for the beneficiaries of legitimate charities and cost Alabama millions of dollars in lost revenue by ultimately destroying legitimate gaming in the State, cautioned Gary Green, Synergys Executive Vice President, a three-decade-casino veteran, former Vice President for Donald Trump, and author of the book Gambling Man
The absolute lowest rung of our industrys ladder has set up shop in Alabama and the State is reacting by trying to throw the baby out with the bath water, continued Green, who recently moved into a Birmingham apartment on behalf of Synergy.
He continued, companies and individuals that have been thrown out of almost every legitimate gaming State now have set up shop in Alabama because local legislation and the courts have failed to regulate the industry. The usual suspects from South Carolina, Georgia, and Oklahoma (companies that cant get licensed in Nevada, New Jersey, or even in most Indian jurisdictions) have trucked in thousands of illegal slot machines being passed off as bingo machines.
Because the Alabama controlling jurisdictions and the courts serving them have failed to implement even basic standards, like GLI 22, I see dozens of manufacturers of illegal games dominating the state, observed Synergys Vice President, explaining that the games in question have not been and cannot be certified as electronic bingo devices.
One judge actually rejected the regulatory standards set up for Indian Gaming and for regulated states, using the old Orville Faubus argument that their State is special and doesnt need Federal laws or lessons from other States, Green mused, citing 25 C.F.R. Section 500 as having resolved the regulatory standards issue.
Commenting on the Alabama Supreme Court, in their latest Whitehall ruling (Appeals from Lowndes Circuit Court (CV-09- 900019) outlining six requirements that determine a legal bingo game, Green said, These are GREAT requirements because they remove the grey area and blatantly illegal games from the market and force the manufacturers and the charities to use ONLY legal bingo games in Alabama.
Reviewing the high Courts six criteria, Green commented on each:
1. The Court said each player uses one or more cards with spaces arranged in five columns and five rows, with an alphanumeric or similar designation assigned to each space. A true class II machine displays this card ON THE GAME SCREEN (not on another screen, not invisible, not hidden or virtual). Perfect, Green noted.
2. Alphanumeric or similar designations are randomly drawn and announced one by one. Here the Court insisted that the electronic balls must appear on the screen one at a timenot all at once. The balls must appear one by oneas in the NIGCs most recent Class II regulations. Certified Class II machines have this functionality in their true bingo setting.
3. In order to play, each player must pay attention to the values announced; if one of the values matches a value on one or more of the player’s cards, the player must physically act by marking his or her card accordingly. This is the double daub feature that has been so controversial in Indian Gaming. This requires the player to hit the DAUB button to match the bingo card to the balls drawn. This function was a requirement of the 2005 third draft of the federal Governments current Electronic Bingo regulations and all LEGAL electronic bingo machines should have this functionality.
4. A player can fail to pay proper attention or to properly mark his or her card, and thereby miss an opportunity to be declared a winner. This is also a function of that double daub or triple touch feature. If the player fails to daub the marked card (i.e. fails to hit the daub button when there is a matching pattern, then that player does NOT win even though the matching pattern is a winner. In order to win the player MUST daub (properly mark) their card.
5. A player must recognize that his or her card has a bingo, i.e., a predetermined pattern of matching values, and in turn announce to the other players and the announcer that this is the case before any other player does so. All LEGAL and properly installed electronic bingo machines provide this functionality by ringing a bell and flashing the candle light on top of the winning players machine only IF the player has properly daubed the winning pattern. This announces to other players that a bingo has been one on that ball draw.
6. The game of bingo contemplates a group activity in which multiple players compete against each other to be the first to properly mark a card with the predetermined winning pattern and announce that fact. All LEGAL electronic bingo machines REQUIRE two or more players in order for the game to be legitimate. Moreover, no two machines side-by-side should be operating from the same ball draw (thus preventing one person from playing two machines in order to operate the game), Green concluded his praising review.
The third largest casino in the world (in terms of number of machines) is in Alabama and the large publically traded machine companies like IGT, Bally, Multimedia and so on are in state too; but only in jurisdictions that have insisted, like that one, on true electronic bingo (Class II machines). You just wont find the legitimate companies and the legitimate charities under the same roof with those rogue operators; the grey-market boys are not welcomed and nowhere to be found. the casino developer continued.
To make matters worse, it appears that many of the charities (who, according to 16 different amendments to the Alabama Constitution, are the only entities that legally can operate bingo casinos) have been duped by commercial operators who have decades-long histories of running grey market quasi-legal casino operations in dozens of states. Many of those operators, if they have not been arrested in other states, at least have been repeatedly closed by law enforcement in every State they have set up shop. In Alabama it is even worse because of all the local copy-cat investors who are trying to behind-the-scenes run large commercial casinos while pretending to be part of a charity, maintained Green, noting that Synergy has been in the forefront of trying to assure that only the Charities operate the bingo halls.
Green cited South Carolinas enactment of House Bill 3834 which banned many of those companies from operating in that state and the subsequent seizure of games by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, the Oklahoma Docket Nos. NIGC 2000-6 AND 2000-1, as well as Ohios United States v. 137 Draw Poker-Type Machines & Six Slot Machines, 606 F. Supp. 747, 754 (
More Electronic Circuits Press Releases