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California’s Bingo Machine Ban Upheld

(CN) - The 9th Circuit lifted an order blocking California police from enforcing a ban on electronic bingo machines, saying the people have spoken, and they want gambling tightly regulated in their state.

A group of disabled bingo players and charity organizations challenged a recently enacted law banning certain electronic bingo machines, claiming it violated the Americans With Disabilities Act.

U.S. District Judge John Mendez agreed and barred state and local law enforcement from "taking any enforcement action against and/or interfering with the play of charitable bingo on electronic machines in any way."

A 9th Circuit panel overturned that ruling Wednesday, finding it contrary to what Californians had endorsed through their elected representatives.

"In the past year, California's legislature and its governor - the public's elected representatives - approved a law both proscribing the precise electronic bingo machines at issue in this case and providing for accommodations for disabled persons wishing to play live call bingo," the ruling states.

"The people of California have thus repeatedly expressed, and recently affirmed, their interest in strictly regulating gambling in their state, including charitable bingo."

Defendants included the California Bureau of Gambling Control and the Sacramento County sheriff.

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