Task force, gaming centers prepare for eventful week

Posted by Cody Holyoke - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Governor Bob Riley's office and his 'Task Force on Illegal Gambling' have a lot on their plate.

"This is about the rule of law in Alabama--and whether or not we're going to have the rule of law enforced in this state," explained Jeff Emerson, Riley's communications director.

After two failed attempts to raid gaming centers in Shorter and Dothan, task force commander John Tyson will battle out the rule of law--in court.

Monday, lawyers from Victoryland will ask Alabama Supreme Court justices to uphold a restraining order against the task force.

"They had no warrant. They had no court order. They had and presented nothing," exclaimed attorney Fred Gray, who represents Victoryland.

Riley's office stands confident the court will rule in their favor.

"We expect them to agree with the task force. Then we're going to go back to Victoryland," Emerson said.

Don't forget Dothan's 'Country Crossing,' starting off the week with two court battles.

The task force wants a search warrant, and developer Ronnie Gilley and company are seeking a restraining order--all while the complex remains closed.

"There are 1,500 families that are at home tonight, worrying about--are they going to have a job tomorrow," Gilley said at a Friday press conference.

Gilley argues the threat of raids means keeping people out of work.

"Well, then, why are they closed?" Emerson responded.

"It's because they know they're operating illegally," he continued.

Critics of the Governor also call into question the fact Riley waited for years to raid places like Victoryland.

Emerson says it's all about the law.

"We were under the impression, because of what the Attorney General said, that these things were legal. They're not legal.  We've discovered they're not legal at all. That that reading of the law was absolutely wrong," Emerson explained.

Stay with WSFA 12 News and wsfa.com as this story unfolds.

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