Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall ordered raids on four suspected gambling halls in Jefferson County on Tuesday, after local law enforcement failed to act. Marshall says search warrants were executed at four electronic bingo halls, in Graysville, Midfield, and Brighton. Several arrests were also reported.
The attorney general took action, after newly elected Democratic Sheriff Mark Pettway announced that he had no intention of enforcing state law prohibiting the games. Pettway's brother had a business license for the electronic bingo hall in Graysville, but turned it in, amid growing scrutiny.
State agents confiscated more than 1,100 machines, which will now be subject to forfeiture. Authorities also seized records, and an unspecified amount of cash. Marshall, a Republican, says the law is clear: "Slot machines are illegal, and there is no basis for somebody to be able to operate that business," Marshall said. The attorney general's office says the raids are part of an ongoing and multifaceted criminal investigation.