Gambling decision coming

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 1, 2004

At least one prominent business in the region will pay extremely close attention to an announcement made today by Alabama Attorney General Troy King.

King, who was appointed by Gov. Bob Riley after Bill Pryor was named a federal judge, has spent the past few months on a tour of gambling operations around the state. Most times, King didn’t hide his visits. Other times, he dropped in on operations around the state.

One of the gambling facilities King visited was GreeneTrack in Eutaw. Today, officials at GreeneTrack will learn whether or not their business operates under state law.

King has called a 9 a.m. press conference today in Montgomery. During that public meeting, King said he will announce his findings “from his review of Alabama’s electronic gambling facilities.”

Earlier this year, King took part in a raid on a gambling facility in Pike County, and at the time, he indicated that he would continue researching the law to determine whether or not dog tracks and start-up arcades are legal in the state of Alabama.

“As Attorney General, my responsibility is to ensure that these businesses operate within the law,” he said. “When we find violations, we will act to enforce our laws.”

No word has been leaked about what King will announce today during his press conference. After meeting with Riley, King traveled to Washington, D.C., last month to discuss the issue with U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft.

GreeneTrack operates a bingo facility and simulcasts horse races from across the country. In King’s investigation, he has indicated that some facilities go far beyond the scope of bingo and offer games of chance – illegal in Alabama.

He has made no indication that GreeneTrack has broken any laws. Today’s announcement is scheduled to put to rest years of controversy surrounding what has been dubbed the “Chuck E. Cheese” law.