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The undercover officer who obtained a search warrant for a planned raid at the Country Crossing gambling hall in Dothan, Ala., said its electronic machines aren't bingo because they can be played blindfolded.

In papers filed in federal court Monday, Lt. Mike Reese of the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board said he is the officer who obtained search warrants for a successful raid of a gambling hall in White Hall on March 19 and for a raid at Country Crossing on Jan. 6 that was blocked by a judge.

Reese, a member of Gov. Bob Riley's Task Force on Illegal Gambling, told the court the Country Crossing games don't meet any of the standards for player interaction that the Alabama Supreme Court laid out in the White Hall case, including marking numbers and recognizing a winning card.

"In fact, once money is inserted, the game can be played blindfolded or with the eyes closed by simply pressing the button three times, and can be played without ever looking at the bingo card," Reese said in an affidavit presented to U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson.

Reese's search warrant for the Jan. 6 raid expired without ever being used. The task force is now fighting in court with Country Crossing's attorneys over whether the task force can stage a new raid on the gambling hall's 1,700 machines. A planned raid last Friday was called off when a judge sought more information before issuing a new search warrant.


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