MACON COUNTY, Ala.- Monday, Victoryland supporters stood in the spot where patrons of the casino would walk to get to the escalator in order to reach the racetrack and dining options to voice their opinions regarding the state’s recent decision on the casino.
Owner, Milton McGregor says he plans to have the facility open by early summer.
Last Thursday, the state Supreme Court ruled that the 1,600 plus machines seized from Victoryland in 2013 are illegal and the electronic bingo is illegal in the state.
In the hour plus press conference, various supporters of the facility took to the microphone to speak to the recent decision.
The first speaker was Macon County Sheriff Andre Brunson. Brunson cited that in 2015, the judge in the case, Judge William Shashy awarded the Victoryland side a win in a case. Sheriff Brunson said that last Thursday, the same justices decided to not uphold the decision of the judge they appointed. Sheriff Brunson says he plans to follow the state constitution in gaming policies at the casino and added that a constitutional amendment gives him and the District Attorney the role to determine all rules and regulations regarding bingo in the county. Sheriff Brunson says this is a policy he take very seriously. Sheriff Brunson did add his thoughts on the recent decision. “I am not a lawyer,” Sheriff Brunson said. “I am a lawman and I say again, I am a lawman. But, I can tell you the ruling last week is not worth the paper it is written on according to the lawyers and knowledgeable people that I have talked to.”
The next speaker was Sheriff Brunson’s legal counsel, James Anderson. Anderson said that the recent decision had flaws in it. He says in 2003, voters knew that they were voting on the possibility of electronic bingo in the county and added that the recent decision throws a century’s worth of legal history out of the window.
Macon County Probate Judge, Alfonza Menefee was in attendance. He said Victoryland’s closing is all due to former Alabama Governor Bob Riley. Judge Menefee added that the decision last week was an unholy decision. Menefee added that the former governor was paid to shut down the facility and he “owns” the supreme court. “It is obvious ever since he left office, that every time he goes to them, the decision is always rendered in his favor,” Judge Menefee said.
The man of the hour, Milton McGregor took the podium at the very end. McGregor says the facility has been seeing work around the clock in order to get the facility back to first class condition. He says the facility underwent substantial damage during the raids. McGregor says no machines will be put in to the facility until they have been tested and certified. McGregor added that some of the machines that were taken from his floor are in other casinos in the area. He added that “Our mistreatment is stopped. Those doors right back there are going to be open very soon. There’s about 1,000 people that are unemployed right now that will be employed right here in the coming weeks.”
McGregor added that he anticipated the facility receiving between 2,000-2,500 applications, but so far they have seen more than 4,000 applications.