A pair of American bingo losers are hoping to win their money back by pleading their case in front of a jury. Ozetta Hardy and Shirley Wallace lost money while playing electronic bingo games at a bingo hall in Lowndes County, Georgia (these electronic bingo games are similar to slot machines, and have nothing to do with internet bingo in the USA). The women are now taking the bingo hall to court, where they are suing to get their money back.
The lawsuit revolves around an interesting legal issue. The bingo hall where the women lost their money, their lawyer argues, was operating illegally. In fact, Whitehall Gaming Center closed down voluntarily after similar electronic bingo parlors in the neighboring state of Alabama faced problems with the law.
The court case, however, is focusing on a different issue. The women are appealing to a 158-year-old state law, 8-1-150, which basically says that gamblers have the right to get their money back because gambling wasn’t allowed in pre-Civil War times.
Specifically, the law states, “Any person who has paid any money or delivered anything of value lost upon any game or wager may recover such money, thing, or its value by an action commenced within six months from the time of such payment or delivery.”
Whether or not the lawsuit will work is a hot issue among those involved, but the fact that the state’s constitution contains an amendment specifically allowing bingo to be played in Lowndes County makes it unlikely that the bingo losers will win.
Meanwhile, progress is being made in Congress, where a bill that aims to legalize online gambling in the United States has passed the first of many hurdles. Experts insist that even if the bill passes, online gambling won’t come until sometime next year, but players remain ever hopeful of the possibility of playing online bingo games in the US.