In The News: Crackdown On Bingo Machines Worries East Bay Charities
East Bay charities that operate electronic gaming machines to lift their bingo parlor profits fear a sudden state crackdown this week on some games in Sacramento could spread — and slash a major source of nonprofit revenue.
The state Department of Justice for years had done little to enforce laws over what it considers illegal bingo machines that in some cases mimic slots — which only Indian tribes can legally operate on tribal land in California. State Attorney General Jerry Brown issued an opinion on electronic bingo in August, but some charity officials called it vague. With no enforcement, few stopped using the machines.
But the lack of enforcement ended Wednesday, when state agents launched a sweep of bingo halls known to operate the suspect machines. By Friday, agents had handed 30-day cease-and-desist orders to seven Sacramento-area bingo parlors and one in Southern California, Department of Justice officials said.
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