Illegal Casino Gambling Case Generates Two Lawsuits
Indiana’s Alcohol and Tobacco Commission has come under fire recently following its decision to search an American Legion post for signs of illegal casino gambling activity. Two lawsuits have been commenced by the New Haven American Legion Post, with the organization claiming that the decision to investigate it for gambling activities was a breach of constitutional rights. The Commission has stated that its officers were searching for illegal video casino gambling machines on the American Legion’s premises and has since attempted to revoke the group’s liquor license.
State authorities have been cracking down on illegal casino gambling machines in Indiana since January 2005. The federal lawsuit initiated by the American Legion Post has stated that Fourth Amendment rights were violated when the Commission carried out its search without a warrant. During the raid, officers confiscated one thousand dollars worth of computer equipment thought to be connected to an illegal casino gambling operation. The Post was found to be in possession of casino gambling materials, fined $500 and plans to revoke its liquor license were initiated by the Commission.
Despite the determination of the Post to prove its point in the courts, Commission Chairman Dave Heath claims the lawsuits are invalid, stating that any organization that holds a valid liquor license is subject to random searches. He also stated that the determination made by the Commission that the Post was operating illegal casino gambling activities was correct. By operating video gaming machines on its premises, the Post was in violation of Indiana casino gambling legislation.