Bingo Machines Lawsuit in Maryland Sports Bar

A Chesapeake Beach bar and grill was spared in the nick of time after they were ordered by the Maryland General Assembly earlier this year to remove their instant bingo machines by July 1. 48 hours before they were about to pull the plug on the machines, Anne Arundel County Circuit Court judge entered a temporary restraining order against the State of Maryland, preventing the instant bingo operations to be shut down at the Crooked I Sports Bar and Grill.

According to a press release, on June 21 CCI Entertainment LLC filed a lawsuit in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court against the state and the government agencies for enforcing the new law regarding the continued operation of the bar's electronic bingo machines.

'The lawsuit requests that the court declare as unconstitutional that part of the new law that prevents CCI from continuing to operate its electronic bingo machines while all other businesses that do the same type of business are permitted by the new law to continue in business after July 1,' the press release stated.

'CCI operates one of the commercial for-profit bingo businesses in Chesapeake Beach,' the law firm's press release stated. 'There are eight electronic bingo businesses licensed in Calvert County and Anne Arundel County. All eight licensees, including CCI, operate materially similar electronic bingo utilizing video terminals. Senate Bill 864 ('SB 864') changes the definition of a 'slot machine' under Section 12-301 of the Maryland Criminal Code so that as of July 1, 2012, all electronic video bingo machines currently in use in Maryland are now considered illegal slot machines. But other Sections of SB 864 created retroactive grandfather clauses that permit all existing commercial bingo licensees to continue to operate their electronic video bingo machines after July 1, 2012, except CCI.'

A preliminary hearing is temporarily scheduled for July 16.

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