Office of the Attorney General Governor Dave Freudenthal Attorney by Philadelphiamovie


									           Office of the Attorney General
Governor                                    Administration               Chief Deputy Attorney General
Dave Freudenthal                           123 State Capitol                         Elizabeth C. Gagen
                                       Cheyenne, Wyoming 82002
Attorney General                        307-777-7841 Telephone
Patrick J. Crank                           307-777-6869 Fax

                                         January 5, 2005


    Contact:       Attorney General Patrick J. Crank
    Phone:         307-777-7841


    CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Wyoming Attorney General Patrick J. Crank announced today that
    Wyoming First Judicial District Court Judge E. James Burke rendered a decision in a case
    addressing the legality of electronic bingo machines filed by the Fraternal Order of Eagles
    Sheridan Aerie No. 186 and Cheyenne Aerie No. 128, Dream Games of Arizona, Inc.,
    and Helping Hand Corporation seeking to have the court enjoin Jon F. Forwood, First
    Judicial District Attorney; Matthew F. Redle, Sheridan County Attorney; Patrick W.
    Korell, Goshen County Attorney; Eric M. Alden, Platte County Attorney; Michael L.
    Greer, Uinta County Attorney; R. Van Graham, Sublette County Attorney, and the City of
    Cheyenne from enforcing certain actions the prosecuting attorneys and the City of
    Cheyenne had taken to shut down electronic bingo operations. Judge Burke found that:

            1.     Electronic bingo machines are “gambling devices” prohibited under
                   Wyoming law;

            2.     The games played on the electronic bingo machines do not constitute
                   “bingo” as contemplated by Wyoming statutes; and
      3.     Because the profits from electronic bingo operations are shared between
             non-profit and for-profit entities, the operations are in violation of
             Wyoming statutes that allow only non-entities to conduct bingo games.

Judge Burke also found that the plaintiffs had failed to establish that any portion of
Wyoming’s gambling laws were unconstitutional.

“I am pleased that the district court has answered the questions put before the court in a
very expeditious fashion. The court has found that electronic bingo machines are illegal
under Wyoming law. These machines, which operate more like a slot machine that any
kind of bingo game, should no longer be operated in the state of Wyoming,” said Crank,
adding, “We have seen a real proliferation of these type of operations in Wyoming
because of the limited exception in our state law allowing non-profit entities to operate
bingo games. What we have found is that a very limited amount of the money generated
by these operations actually goes to the worthy causes that are important to the non-profit
entity. The majority of the generated profits are frequently paid to the person supplying
the non-profit with the electronic bingo machines or the for-profit entity running the
bingo operation for the non-profit entity.” Crank also applauded the various prosecutors
and law enforcement officers and city officials who recognized the illegality of these
machines and operations and took steps to stop the activity in their communities.
“Gambling issues are always divisive, and the prosecutors, city officials, and law
enforcement officers had the courage to step forward and make tough decisions. Their
decisions have now been found to be 100 percent accurate by Judge Burke.”

A copy of the decision in its entirety will be posted on the Wyoming Attorney General’s
Website at


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