Update: Alabama AG files appeal in VictoryLand forfeiture case
In the state of Alabama, Circuit Judge William Shashy has ruled against the state in a case involving the gaming facility VictoryLand. In 2013, a raid took place at VictoryLand, shutting down the electronic bingo facility and seizing just over 1,600 gaming machines and over $260,000 in cash. Shashy has now ruled that the state does not have the right to shut down the casino while allowing similar businesses to operate in the state.
Shashy did not rule on the legality of the electronic bingo games used at VictoryLand, he did state that the action of Alabama officials towards the business was in violation of the principle of equal protection under the law. The ruling by Shashy came in a six page document which dismissed the attempt by the state to keep the slot style machines as well as hundreds of thousands in cash seized during the raid.
VictoryLand was operational in Macon County and Shashy ruled that the state cannot keep the casino closed while allowing two bingo operators to continue to conduct business in Greene County. Another facility is operating in Houston County. Shashy accused the state of ‘cherrypicking’ which facility would be allowed to remain open and which should close.
Shashy, a judge in Montgomery County, stated: “Allowing unequal treatment places the court in an untenable position. The court cannot condone or perpetuate unequal treatment.” Luther Strange, the Attorney General of Alabama, has the option to appeal the ruling and has stated that his office is reviewing the decision by Shashy.
In the meantime, the owner of VictoryLand, Milton McGregor, is ready to get back in business. The complex is home to a casino, hotel and greyhound race track near Montgomery. McGregor stated that the decision by Shashy will pave the way for electronic bingo to resume at VictoryLand and for people of Macon County to be able to come back to work and provide for their families.