OF JUDGMENT: 12/14/2017
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. CHARLES E. WEBSTER TRIAL JUDGE
COURT ATTORNEYS: WILLIAM HARVEY GRESHAM, JR. MARVIN M. VINING
JAMES D. FRANKS, JR.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: MARVIN M. VINING
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
ALICIA MARIE AINSWORTH
KITCHENS, P.J., KING AND BEAM, JJ.
The State of Arizona and Williams Gaming, Inc. (WMS), a
manufacturer of electronic gaming machines, initiated a civil
asset forfeiture against money Randy Binning had won, in
part, in Tunica, Mississippi, casinos. Binning was indicted
in Mississippi for violations of the Mississippi Gaming
Control Act. A circuit court in Mississippi, however,
dismissed all criminal charges against Binning with
prejudice. Despite the dismissal of charges in Mississippi,
the State of Arizona continues to prosecute the
civil-forfeiture action. Binning now seeks a writ of
prohibition clarifying to the state of Arizona that any
further collateral attacks upon the dismissed criminal
charges under Mississippi law should be barred as res
judicata. Because Binning failed to provide sufficient
authority that a court in Mississippi may issue a writ of
prohibition to a court outside of the state, we affirm the
judgment of the trial court.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The general facts of this case are not in dispute. WMS
admitted that it produced and sold to Caesars Entertainment
Corporation (Caesars) a brand of Keno machines that were
defective. When a player selected certain combinations of
denominations and units to wager, the Keno games on those
defective machines produced greater-than-normal pay tables.
WMS admitted that the defect in those machines was due to its
own inadvertent coding error and determined that no contact
had occurred between any of its software engineers and
Binning, a professional gambler, learned of the particular
combinations of denominations and units to wager in order to
increase his odds of winning. In April 2013, Binning won
money on defective Keno machines in both Tunica, Mississippi,
and Joliet, Illinois. On April 29, 2013, during a traffic
stop, law-enforcement officers in Coconino County, Arizona,
seized more than $400, 000 from Binning, a large portion of
which Binning had won at Mississippi casinos.
A Tunica County grand jury indicted Binning on two counts of
violating the Mississippi Gaming Control Act, Mississippi
Code Sections 75-76-301(c) (Rev. 2016) and 75-76-311(2) (Rev.
2016). Binning also was indicted in Illinois. Following a
bench trial in Illinois, all charges against Binning were
dismissed. On June 30, 2015, the Mississippi circuit court
also entered a pretrial order dismissing all charges against
Binning with prejudice.
Although the charges against Binning were dismissed in
Mississippi and Illinois, the State of Arizona and WMS
continue to pursue civil forfeiture in Arizona. Binning faces
forfeiture of the seized cash under Arizona Revised Statutes
§ 13-2301(D)(4), which provides in relevant part,
4. "Racketeering" means any act, including any
preparatory or completed offense, that is chargeable or
indictable under the laws of the state or country in which
the act occurred and, if the act occurred in a state or
country other than this state, that would be chargeable or
indictable under the laws of this state if the act had
occurred in this state, and that would be punishable by
imprisonment for more than one year under the laws of this
state and, if the act occurred in a state or country other
than this state, under the laws of the state ...