Victoryland's McGregor: Center Stage ruling has no bearing on Ma - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Victoryland's McGregor: Center Stage ruling has no bearing on Macon Co.

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

The owner of Victoryland in Macon County is speaking out following a judge's ruling last week on an electronic bingo/slot machine case from south Alabama.

Milton McGregor's Victoryland closed in February 2013 following a raid by the Attorney General's office. The case continues to make its way through the court system.

On October 17, Houston County Circuit Judge J. Michael Conaway ruled against Dothan-based Center Stage deeming 691 seized devices to be illegal slot machines. He ordered the machines  destroyed and nearly $300,000 in seized currency to be forfeited to the state's General Fund.

McGregor is dismissing any ramifications the Center Stage ruling may have outside Houston County, "regardless of what the AG may say in his press releases..."

While the Center Stage case ruling did not directly address McGregor's case to operate gaming machines at his complex in Macon County, McGregor is making clear that the two cases aren't related and "the Houston County decision on electronic bingo has absolutely no bearing on Macon County."

"Bingo operators have tried to create confusion in the law but this ruling ends
the nonsense," Attorney General Luther Strange said in a statement on October 17. "Only the traditional paper version of the game commonly known as bingo is authorized by the Houston County bingo amendment, and slot machines cannot be used to play bingo."

But McGregor says a significant difference in the two cases is that the citizens of Macon County knew they were voting on electronic bingo when they went to the polls in 2003. The county amendment overwhelmingly passed.

Following the Houston County verdict, AG Strange said the ruling did have implications beyond Houston County. "The fundamental legal principles which underlie today's [October 17] ruling apply not only to Houston County, but in all counties subject to local bingo amendments," Strange stated.

McGregor says gaming has been legal in Macon County for 30 years and electronic bingo is another form of gaming that is voter approved.

"While the politicians may have changed, the Macon County constitutional amendment and the intent of the voters in Macon County has not," McGregor says. "The folks in Macon County know a thing or two about fighting for their constitutional rights, and this fight is no different."

Copyright 2013 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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