Alabama Gambling Task Force Spends $500,000 For Legal Bills

March 22nd, 2010 – by Glen

The prosecution against the allegedly illegal gambling in Alabama has not come with out a price. Rather than taxing the industry in the state, the Governor’s Task Force on Illegal Gambling has managed to spend over half a million dollars in legal bills in their hunt for illegal gambling.

According to the Montgomery Advertiser, the price of legal assistance has cost the state an additional $536,115.

The task force began in December of 2008 with the original intention of removing slot machines from Alabama. The Riley administration had employed Matt Lembke and Michael Pennington, attorneys under the Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, which was based out of Birmingham. The contract with the law firm allows the administration to spend up to $650,000 in legal bills.

According to the administration, however, $1.3 million dollars has been seized in the raids against the different bingo halls.

While the numbers seem to initially work out, some pieces of the equation have been left out. The cost for man power, the money spent on paying for the unemployed, and other administrative costs would continue to close the gap on the seized money.

Task force leader, John Tyson, has denied in court any financial compensation for his duties as the head of this force.

The gambling industry, which is one of the few industries that asks to be regulated and taxed, could generate this sum and more for the state of Alabama should Riley and his task force give up on their crusade against what is only suspected to be illegal bingo and turn to taxing the games as an alternative stream of income for the state.

Alabama online gambling continues unfettered, though no tax revenue is collected from these online casinos. With congress currently occupied with war and health care, it is unlikely that online gambling will move forward with any speed.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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