Alabama: Macon County leaders disapprove of Victoryland ruling outlawing electronic bingo machines

October 5, 2022
By

They argue shutting down both Whitehall Gaming and Victoryland Casino could negatively affect the local economy.

Community leaders and residents in Macon County, Alabama have voiced concerns regarding a recent ruling that declared the electronic bingo machines in Victoryland Casino and Whitehall Gaming illegal.

The high court’s ruling could lead to both locations closing, a decision its opponents say could bring economic downturn in both Lowndes and Macon counties.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshal called both locations “a menace to public health, morals, safety and welfare,” stating they are illegal according to state law.

However, influential members of the community disagree. Funds from both facilities have benefited the local school system and government, county leaders said.

“It would be a tremendous loss extended without that support to be able to advocate for our students, to put our students in a place where their posture is from a school system that had been well supported with equitable resources,” said Dr. Melvin Lowe with Macon County Schools.

Close to a dozen community members gathered to voice pushback against the high court’s ruling. Among those present were Macon County Sherriff Andre Brunson and Tuskegee Mayor Tony Haygood.

Mayor Haygood pointed out the long history of economic success countywide due to funds and jobs generated by Victoryland.

He said: “Victoryland provides employment, it provides economic development in this community and has for some time.”

Brunson did not mince words when it came to his disapproval of the recent ruling. He commented: “I’m very disappointed with the decision that they made.”

Tuskegee City Councilman Johnny Ford said community leaders have no intention of giving up the fight to keep Victoryland open.

“We’re going to give it all that we can in the legal course and see what happens,” Ford said.

“I want the citizens Macon County to know that we’re not throwing up our hands. We’re not giving up. We’re not giving up. We’re going to fight and use our intelligence to make sure that we come out of this in the best interest of the people.”

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