Victoryland's gaming center closed - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Victoryland's gaming center closed

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TUSKEGEE, AL (WSFA) - Victoryland's gaming center is now closed. On Monday night, customers were told to cash out, and the facility closed its doors.

WSFA 12 News anchor Bob Howell spoke with Victoryland owner Milton McGregor, who told him the gaming center is closed for computer upgrades. He says this is part of fully complying with a Alabama Supreme Court order that outlines what legal bingo is in Alabama.

McGregor says the machines that have been modified have been certified by an internationally recognized testing company, the same company, he says, that does work for the FBI. He says complying has cost him about half of his business. As for when Quincy's Triple Seven will reopen, McGregor says he hopes it will be soon.

About 4:00pm Monday, Victoryland filed papers with the Alabama Supreme Court supporting the restraining order that stopped Governor Bob Riley's Task Force on Illegal Gambling from raiding the facility. The task force has until Tuesday at 5pm to file a response.

The high court is expected to rule quickly, perhaps as early as Wednesday on the matter. So far, the justices have sided with the Governor in at least three cases, declaring the electronic bingo machines as illegal.

Everything else at Victoryland is open.

©2010 WSFA. All rights reserved.

Statement from Country Crossing Regarding Federal Ruling – February 1, 2010 

Today, Judge Thompson asked both parties to resolve their issues in a state court declaratory action. This is a process that we have already begun, and we expect that the state court will hold that our bingo operations are legal and in full compliance with the law. It is clear that the federal judge wants the parties to resolve their dispute in state court before seeking relief in federal court.

It remains to be seen whether Mr. Tyson will participate in the civil declaratory judgment action, notwithstanding the federal court's admonition that he do so. We agree that these issues should be decided without the drama that the task force has engaged in so far, and we look forward to the resolution of this matter in the orderly process that the federal judge suggests. 

We note that the federal judge acknowledged that our constitutional entitlement to relief is not clear on the current record, which clearly does not discount the possibility that such relief may be appropriate in the future.

We believe that if Mr. Tyson does not follow the federal judge's instructions to resolve this matter orderly, we may be asking the federal judge for relief again in the future – particularly if our constitutional rights cannot be safeguarded in state court. But, we fully intend to honor the federal judge's request that we first exhaust all attempts to resolve this matter in state court.

Source: Houston Economic Development Association and Country Crossing 

Statement from Task Force Commander John Tyson on the closing of VictoryLand last night

MONTGOMERY – John Tyson, Commander of the Governor's Task Force on Illegal Gambling, made the following statement in reference to Milton McGregor's confirmation to the media that the Quincy's 777 Casino at VictoryLand has shut its doors to "upgrade" its gambling machines:

"Late last night, Milton McGregor locked the doors at VictoryLand and began altering his gambling equipment in direct violation of a court order.

"Just last Friday, as law enforcement officers were about to raid the slot machine casino at VictoryLand, McGregor obtained a middle-of-the-night court order preventing the officers from seizing the illegal slot machines.  That order directed McGregor and all others at VictoryLand to ‘preserve and not destroy any evidence' until a court hearing could be held on Friday, February 6.

"Rather than preserve the evidence as the court order required, McGregor last night brazenly set out to alter the evidence through what he called ‘computer upgrades.' 

"The court told McGregor he had to preserve the evidence.  Everyone knows what it means to preserve evidence – you don't alter it, you don't destroy it, you leave it exactly as it was.   

"Mr. McGregor clearly thinks that he is above the law.  He clearly thinks that law enforcement officers should follow court orders while he ignores them.

"This latest incident underscores how powerful gambling bosses are challenging the rule of law in Alabama.  We intend to make sure that the rule of law prevails."

Source: Governor's Task Force on Illegal Gambling

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