- Associated Press - Saturday, January 18, 2014

RICHWOOD, La. (AP) - A state District Court judge has ordered a bingo parlor to pay the town of Richwood more than $236,000 in unpaid video bingo taxes.

The News-Star reported (https://tnsne.ws/1gQTti9) the ruling came in a Jan. 6 ruling against Big Bucks Bingo LLC.

Judge Benjamin Jones also ordered the company to pay more than $44,000 in interest due on the taxes and he awarded attorney fees of more than $28,000 to the town.

Richwood filed its lawsuit in summer 2013 over taxes the town claimed were owed by the video parlor operators.

Richwood fiscal administrator Jonald Walker said the payments from Big Bucks will be used to pay for town operations and to reduce its debt obligations.

Walker was appointed as the town’s fiscal administrator in November 2013 by a state District Court judge.

Russell Woodard Jr., attorney for the town in the suit, said Big Bucks Bingo agreed to the judgment and opted not to appeal the court’s decision.

“We’ve settled the matter with the terms consistent with the judgment. We feel good justice was served,” Woodard said.

The lawsuit against Big Bucks and operators Bobbie Miller and William Durham claimed the Richwood video bingo parlor owed the town nearly $400,000 in unpaid taxes and penalty fees.

The suit claimed that between December 2008 and September 2012, Big Bucks Bingo only paid 20 percent of its winnings to the town. Richwood’s gambling ordinance requires a payment of 25 percent of winnings from video bingo parlors.

Only one bingo parlor, Richwood Bingo Haven, currently pays gambling taxes to Richwood.

Big Bucks Bingo, which is based in Livingston Parish, no longer operates the parlor.

Big Bucks Bingo manages several bingo parlors throughout the state, including several that operate in the Monroe area.

Big Bucks attorney Wesley Plaisance of New Orleans could not be reached for comment.

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Information from: The News-Star, https://www.thenewsstar.com

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