VictoryLand quietly reopened last year

Published 4:04 pm Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The year 2012 did not come to an end with a whimper when it comes to newsworthy happenings. A number of significant events occurred in December.

VictoryLand, the state’s premier privately owned casino, reopened quietly on a Tuesday afternoon with very little fanfare. However, it appears that publicity and advertising are not necessary to attract patrons to the glamorous facility located along interstate I-85 in Macon County. Public officials and the local citizenry have been awaiting the reopening of their largest employer and economic engine for over two years.

Former Gov. Bob Riley heavy handedly closed their facility in 2010, declaring that their bingo machines were illegal. Riley’s actions left hundreds of Macon County people out of work.

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The pivotal question is whether the machines, which are so very popular at the Indian casinos and VictoryLand, qualify as bingo machines. Prior to reopening, VictoryLand invited the media to come to Macon County to view and inspect the machines. They purchased all new machines designed to specifically comply with the concept of playing bingo. VictoryLand brought in an expert who directed the New Jersey gaming enforcement’s testing lab for 22 years. He demonstrated how the machines operate and comply with the rules that apply to bingo machines. He stated unequivocally that these games are different from slot machines.

Macon County Sheriff David Warren, who is in total control of gaming in this venue, declared the new machines are legal and in compliance with the Macon County constitutional amendment. Warren stated, “I accept these machines as legal. How clear can it be that these machines play bingo?”

It would appear that in this day and time, as advanced as computer technology has become, that indeed they can design machines that comply with the concept of bingo. VictoryLand will await the actions of Atty. Gen. Luther Strange. If that is the case, then Big Luther would have an ethical conflict of interest in even attempting to determine whether the new VictoryLand machines are in fact bingo machines.