MACON COUNTY, AL (WTVM) - Former Tuskegee Mayor Johnny Ford is a strong advocate for Milton McGregor and Victoryland, saying the reason Macon County has gaming at Victoryland, is because the citizens voted for it.
Mayor Ford says, "They wanted it. They needed it for their schools, and of their governments. It employed more than 2000 people that's the fight that continues." Deborah Biggers with Macon County Chamber of Commerce adds, "When the bingo operations closed as part of Victoryland that had a devastating impact on our citizens because we don't have a lot of industry here."
Mayor Ford says they never would have foreseen all that has happened with Victoryland...and they wanted to bring good to the county, good that could grow. "Electronic Bingo has never been rules illegal....We simply wanted to provide an industry, a tourism industry that created jobs and revenue for our schools and for our government and for this local economy."
As for what has happened to McGregor in the last 24 hours, some in the community hope it will not impact the future of Victoryland anymore. "It's a list of entities that have got money from the pari-mutuel side who haven't been receiving any revenues because of the loss of revenues at the entire facility." Said Biggers.
And the battle over electronic gaming is nowhere near over says Mayor Ford, "We will continue to fight for our civil rights, the fact that we voted for this issue, the fact that our citizens asked for this. The fact that there are 2000 people out of jobs."
Milton McGregor was released on bond for $500,000 and is required to wear an electronic monitoring system. The defendants will make their plea next Friday.