The bid by California charities to use electronic bingo machines has been shot down by a federal appeals court.
The court ruled this week that the charities cannot get around state law banning the machines by claiming live-call bingo discriminates against people with disabilities.
The three-judge appellate panel struck down a preliminary injunction issued by a federal district judge that prohibited state gambling regulators and Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinness from enforcing the ban.
U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez in Sacramento should not have granted the injunction because the charities could not show they would be irreparably harmed without the machines, were unable to dispel the serious damage their use would cause to gambling regulation and enforcement of criminal laws, and could not show a stake greater than the public's in strict regulation and law enforcement, the panel declared.
The panel said the disabled plaintiffs, like everyone else in California, "will still be able to play live-call bingo, and they will be able to use the electronic and non-electronic aids expressly available under state and local law. "
The panel is made up of 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judges J. Clifford Wallace of San Diego; Sidney R. Thomas of Billings, Mont.; and Jay S. Bybee of Las Vegas.
In a biting concurrence, Bybee found that the charities could not prevail, calling the bingo devices "slot machines."
To read the complete article, visit www.sacbee.com.