Just two days ago, the Alabama Senate convened and placed a vote on the subject of VictoryLand and electronic bingo machines. VictoryLand wants to use the same type of electronic bingo machines as the gambling venues owned and operated by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. This measure failed to be passed.
Senator Billy Beasley proposed the measure, which received a vote of 14-13. The procedural vote requires approval of at least three-fifths to pass. VictoryLand was shut down three years ago by the attorney general, with $263,000 in cash seized and over 1,600 gaming machines seized during the shutdown.
On the 31st of March, the State Supreme Court ruled that the state will be able to keep the gambling machines and cash. This decision overturned a ruling by a trial judge that the state had chosen to pick and choose the enforcement of gambling laws and that the machines were legal based on an amendment to the constitution approved by voters in Macon County back in 2003.
The Supreme Court rules that the gambling machines were more like a slot gaming machine and did not fall under the definition of bingo in the legal sense. VictoryLand legal representatives stated that the networked machines play bingo and they are the exact same as the ones used by the casinos owned by the Poarch Creek Indians.
Beasley calls the issue one of fairness and that the shutdown of the casino resulted in the loss of jobs and was devastating for Macon County. Milton McGregor is the owner of VictoryLand who plans on opening the venue back up despite the ruling by the Supreme Court. The casino has already opened up the job application process and has received over 4,000 applications. The venue will hire as many as 1,000 employees.