$560k seized from gaming center

Published 9:58 pm Friday, March 20, 2009

WHITE HALL — The White Hall gaming center that had 101 machines and more than $560,000 in cash seized during a raid by state police plans to reopen in a few days if it can get a judge to shield it from another seizure.

The electronic sign in front of the White Hall Resort and Entertainment Center still promoted “Hot Slots” on Friday, but the parking lot was empty. The center, 20 miles west of Montgomery, did not reopen after a pre-dawn raid Thursday by state police and Gov. Bob Riley’s Task Force on Illegal Gambling.

Task force Director David Barber would not say Friday if raids are planned at other gambling operations. But he said a statewide investigation is ongoing.

Barber said officers seized $560,000 from the 950 machines at White Hall and from the center’s vault. He described it as about three days’ receipts.

“You get a feel from that just how big this business is,” he said.

Barber said the task force investigation began in January — weeks before the “Sweet Home Alabama” legislation was introduced. He said the bill’s goal is to legalize machines like those seized at White Hall.