..Lawsuit May Cost Alabama Taxpayers Millions..
MONTGOMERY, Alabama –Milton McGregor, the owner of VictoryLand, said a recent ruling against electronic bingo machines in Houston County has no bearing on his closed casino, which he is attempting to reopen.
“Regardless of what the (attorney general) may say in his press releases, the Houston County decision on electronic bingo has absolutely no bearing on Macon County,” McGregor said.
“The citizens of Macon County KNEW they were voting on electronic bingo in 2003 and overwhelmingly approved the electronic games,” McGregor said.
In a criticizing manner, McGregor issued this statement about Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange after Strange said the Houston County
ruling should serve as a warning for those “contemplating operating slot machines in Houston County and throughout the state.” Although there is a clear difference in slot machines and electronic bingo machines, although Strange refuses to consider that notion.
A judge from Houston county ruled electronic bingo machines at Center Stage casino were slot machines masquerading as bingo.
The attorney general’s office in February seized electronic gambling machines at VictoryLand casino after the Alabama Supreme Court ordered Macon County Circuit Judge Tom Young to issue a search warrant despite Young’s objections.
An amendment to the Alabama Constitution allowing Macon County charities to offer bingo games as a fundraiser does not mention
“electronic” or machine gaming.
VictoryLand operated the games for the Macon County charities, paying the charities a flat rate. Attorneys for McGregor have argued from the beginning that advertisements ahead of the public vote made it more than obvious that electronic games would be played.
Strange said the search warrant that allowed the seizure of machines was based on the same legal principles as the Houston County decision.
“Since taking office, I have enforced the rule of law equally throughout the state,” Strange said in a statement.
“Earlier this year, the Alabama Supreme Court ordered a Macon County judge to issue a warrant to seize VictoryLand’s slot machines. The Alabama Supreme Court’s decision in that case relied on the same legal principles as Judge Conaway’s decision in Houston County. Neither the Houston County amendment nor the Macon County amendment says anything about allowing ‘electronic bingo’ or ‘bingo machines.’ My office will continue to handle this matter in the courts,” Strange said.
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