Alamaba AG Looking for Confrontation With Casino Owner

Alabama attorney general and anti-gambling extremist Luther Strange said that he is ‘disappointed’ that VictoryLand casino had “chosen the path of confrontation” as the casino opens again. Strange has pursued his peculiar vendetta against electronic bingo for about two years. According to owner Milton McGregor VictoryLand will open on December 18th complete with electronic bingo machines. Strange told reporters “It is very disappointing that VictoryLand has chosen the path of confrontation rather than accept our offer to prove that their operations are legal in court.” In reality it has been Strange that has been confrontational. Raids on the casino had put hundreds out of work and the casino was damaged during the raids.

Strange wanted to seize a number of bingo machines and file an action in Macon County to get a court ruling on the bingo machines. Strange said “Illegal gambling is a statewide problem and the attorney general’s office will continue to enforce the law consistently throughout the state.” McGregor said in a statement that he was proud to open the casino which has been shuttered since 2010. McGregor stated “We welcome back all of our many loyal customers and friends who enjoyed the fun and entertainment VictoryLand provided for more than seven years.”

The casino will feature 1200 electronic bingo machines. The opening will keep alive the argument over whether the machines are slots which are illegal. State officials say that the machines are not what the state intended by constitutional amendments allowing charity bingo games. Macon County Sheriff David Warren, who regulates bingo in Macon County, says the machines are legal. Warren said the whirling displays are only “eye candy” and that the networked machines played bingo.

Strange is up to his old tricks and has asked the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to deny a liquor license for the casino floor. Strange says that VictoryLand has a history of violating state gambling laws. Under an existing license alcohol will be sold in another part of the casino. McGregor lawyer Joe Espy said that the machines were chosen to be compliant with a 2003 constitutional amendment allowing charity bingo in Macon County. In a letter to the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board Strange said that the amendment does not mention the word ‘electronic.’ Captain Hal Taylor has said a license for VictoryLand’s casino floor is on hold until the commission can hold a hearing.