Alabama Attorney General: Strengthen Penalty for Gambling Machines


By Heather VacLav

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - After shutting down Center Stage casino near Dothan, Alabama's attorney general says he will try to strengthen the penalties for operating illegal slot machines.
Attorney General Luther Strange used state and local police to raid Center Stage on Wednesday, seizing about 691 pieces of equipment and $283,657 in cash. No one was arrested. If people had been arrested, they would have faced a misdemeanor charge of possessing an illegal gambling machine, which carries a maximum punishment of one year in jail and a $6,000 fine.
Strange says that's no deterrent when compared to the profit involved. He says the Legislature can put an end to the illegal activity by increasing the penalty to a felony. Strange backed bills to do that in the 2011 and 2012 sessions, but both failed. One of the sponsors, Republican Sen. Bryan Taylor, says opponents threatened to filibuster the bills and everything else pushed by the Republican majority.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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