Fireman's Association sues supplier over bingo jackpot

Kelly Holleran Sep. 28, 2011, 7:27am

The Madison County Firemen's Association claims it lost more than $100,000 after the owners of a bingo equipment supplier breached a contract and took money belonging to the association.

The Madison County Firemen's Association filed a complaint Sept. 20 in Madison County Circuit Court against Planet Bingo.

In its complaint, the association alleges it entered into an agreement with Planet Bingo in which it promised to pay a fee to use Planet Bingo equipment.

As part of the agreement, the Firemen's Association agreed to place extra money into an account operated by Planet Bingo. Planet Bingo would then release that money if a person won the Madison County Firemen's Association bingo jackpot. Any funds that remained after the jackpot money was distributed were to be used at the Firemen's Association's discretion, the suit states.

The Madison County Firemen's Association had built its account up to $129,000 when it stopped leasing the equipment from Planet Bingo, the complaint says.

However, Planet Bingo had withdrawn all the money from the account and refused to release the funds to the Madison County Firemen's Association, it alleges.

The Madison County Firemen's Association decided to cease the lease of equipment after it discovered that Planet Bingo was in violation of the Charitable Games Act, according to the complaint.

The Charitable Games Act demands that organizations that lease equipment for charitable purposes must be licensed. Planet Bingo failed to obtain the appropriate license, the suit states.

"Plaintiff was damaged by Defendant in that Defendant leased illegal gaming equipment to Plaintiff and retained the value paid under that lease even though Defendant was prevented by law from benefiting from the lease, and Plaintiff was further damaged by Defendant when Defendant absconded with certain funds Plaintiff was able to raise before the gaming equipment was declared illegal," the complaint says.

The Madison County Firemen's Association alleges breach of contract, conversion, unjust enrichment, violation of the Charitable Games Act and breach of fiduciary duty.

In its seven-count complaint, the Madison County Firemen's Association seeks the money it says Planet Bingo owes it, plus interest and other relief the court deems just.

Edward T. McCarthy of McCarthy and Allen in Edwardsville will be representing it.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-947.

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