Legality of gaming should be decided

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 22, 2002

Gaming machines may be running out of time.

There has been much discussion and legal opinion about gaming machines and whether or not they are legal in Alabama. Opinions from the attorney general have said the devices are not legal. Owners have been told to shut down. Some have and many still have not.

What has occurred over the last few months is basically nothing. The attorney general’s opinion is working its way through the court system and people are still dumping change into the gaming machines.

However, Thursday marked a turning point in the gaming machine saga in Dallas County. Sheriff’s deputies shut down an operation near Plantersville because area residents were complaining about it.

Deputies seized 36 machines. Furthermore, they said other businesses operating the machines would face similar consequences.

It is about time that something happened on this issue and it is no coincidence that public input made a difference and resulted in action. Allowing the machines to operate while calling them illegal makes no sense. It encourages disregard for the law because there is no consequence if it is broken.

Closure to this issue needs to occur here and across Alabama. Our laws &045; as best they can be interpreted &045; must be upheld.

It is not fair to the gaming machine owners and their customers to let this drag on. Either the arcades need to be shut down, or reverse the attorney general’s opinion and let them operate.

On a separate note, we would like to thank Muhammad Durrani for bringing gas prices here back to 99 cents. Durrani isn’t a leader of OPEC but rather a local merchant who just wanted to thank his customers.

He dropped the price of gas to 99 cents Friday at his popular Petro Food and Gas outlet on Highway 80. He called it his customer appreciation day and many lined up to buy his discounted gas.

Thanks, Mr. Durrani, for letting us see that .99 high above Highway 80. It sure looks better than 1.49, even if it was for only a day.