VictoryLand, located in Shorter, Alabama stopped offering electronic bingo games and shut down their casino and hotel after state agents raided the property and confiscated cash and gambling machines in 2013 – just one of several such actions attempting to close the bingo casino.
On the 4th of October, Judge William Shashy from the Montgomery County Circuit Court decided to amend an earlier ruling that prevented the state from disposing of the seized assets. The judge told the state to return the machines and cash unless they acted to close the other six bingo casinos in the state, saying that his court would not be used as a tool of elective enforcement.
Owner, Milton McGregor asked his team at VictoryLand to move swiftly and start interviewing prospective employees so that they are ready to launch operations at the earliest. McGregor does not have an estimate at the moment as to when the casino will be open to the public as he believes it will take a while to get the casino back to world class standards. With over 7,000 machines in 2010 VictoryLand was the largest “bingo casino” in the United States.
The decision made by Judge William Shashy has not gone down well with the attorney general’s office who has already appealed the ruling and have requested the Supreme Court to overturn Shashy’s ruling. If the ruling is not overturned, then the state will have to pay VictoryLand over $200,000 and return a number of electronic slot machines.
Tuskegee Mayor Johnny Ford was also happy with the verdict issued by Judge William Shashy as the mayor is eager for VictoryLand to open its doors once again. When VictoryLand was forced to close casino operations, thousands of locals lost their jobs and the city also lost a significant amount of revenue that was being generated by the casino.
In a press conference Monday, Mayor Ford said “Before we were saying that we were being treated unfairly here in Macon County. Now you have an appointed, Republican judge saying the same things. That has to mean something if he can see it too. We have lost so much revenue and so many jobs. You’re talking about 2,000 jobs in this county. That’s a devastating blow. We’re just trying to survive. So, we’re asking the governor to intervene and stop the AG’s office from appealing.”
Judge Shashy was appointed to hear the case as all judges in the local circuit recused themselves earlier.