Victoryland closes as raid looms

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 10, 2010

MONTGOMERY (AP) — Alabama’s largest electronic bingo operation closed Monday as its owner tried to prevent a raid by the governor’s anti-gambling task force on the last non-Indian casino still doing business in the state.

Victoryland owner Milton McGregor was awaiting word on a court ruling that could clear the way for a raid similar to those in recent months, when Gov. Bob Riley’s task force and its commander, John Tyson, shut down the casinos and authorities hauled out dozens of the bingo machines.

Many of the casinos were in poor, mostly black areas of the state, and the raids have spurred protests in the past.

“It is apparent from Tyson and Riley’s latest legal shenanigans and threats that they will stop at nothing to put on a show and attempt to raid Victoryland to garner one last bit of publicity before Czar Riley leaves office and the task force is disbanded,” McGregor said.

Riley and Tyson contend court rulings have made it clear the casino is an illegal slot machine operation.

Tyson said a raid could still happen if the Supreme Court includes language allowing the seizure of bingo machines. A ruling is expected within a few days.