Gambling Contract Unenforceable

Dream, Inc. d/b/a Frontier Bingo v. Samuels, [Ms. SC-2022-0808, June 23, 2023] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2023). The Court (Stewart, J.; Parker, C.J., and Shaw, Wise, Bryan, Mendheim, Mitchell, and Cook, JJ., concur; Sellers, J., concurs in the result) reverses the Greene Circuit Court’s $500,000 judgment entered on a jury verdict in favor of Tony Samuels against Dream, Inc., d/b/a Frontier Bingo (“Frontier”). Frontier, which operates an electronic “bingo” facility, refused to pay Samuels a $30,083.88 jackpot he allegedly won playing electronic “bingo.”

The Court again reiterates “that electronic-bingo machines similar to those played by Samuels in this case do not constitute ‘the game commonly or traditionally known as bingo’ and, therefore, constitute illegal gambling.” Ms. *6. The Court reverses and renders judgment for Frontier, holding “Alabama courts will not enforce claims, whether in contract or in tort, which require the aid of an illegal agreement. [Macon Cty. Greyhound Park, Inc. v. Hoffman, 226 So. 3d 152, 168 (Ala. 2016)]. Furthermore, we will recognize such a defect ex mero motu.” Ms. *12.

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