While the circuit court was dubious that the charities, disabled, et al. would suffer "irreparable harm" from losing out on the right to play electronic bingo, it did feel the people of California suffer "irreparable injury whenever an enactment of its people or their representatives is enjoined."
The disabled activists' claims are also smacked down with legalistic gusto: "The disabled plaintiffs maintain that, in the absence of a preliminary injunction, they (like everyone else in California) will be prevented from playing electronic bingo. That may be true, but they (like everyone else in California) will still be able to play live call bingo ... The temporary inability of disabled plaintiffs to play a game illegal to all other individuals in California cannot be deemed a 'great and immediate' harm."
In a final dig at the district court, the 9th spelled out its ruling with language that made the earlier ruling appear ridiculous. When deciding who suffers from an injunction against enforcing state laws, whose case is greater: The people of California, who have "repeatedly expressed and recently reaffirmed their interest in strictly regulating gambling in their state"? Or disabled people "who wish to gamble using electronic machines unavailable under state law to everyone else in California" and charities "seeking to raise money through the use of these illegal machines"?
To top it off, the ruling claimed that the so-called electronic bingo machines were nothing other than "a casino-style game virtually indistinguishable from a run-of-the-mill slot machine."
Well, well. To paraphrase the old line from Casablanca, it seems there was gambling going on in this casino.
H/T | Courthouse News