Supreme Court reaches decision on Victoryland

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - WSFA 12 News has obtained a copy of the Alabama Supreme Court's decision to overturn a lower court's order blocking a raid on Macon County's Victoryland gaming center.

Alabama Gov. Bob Riley's task force on illegal gambling has won another legal victory.

Task force commander John Tyson said the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in the task force's favor late Thursday afternoon. Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb and Associate Justice Tom Woodall were the only dissenting members of the court.

"After this, you will not have the ability to go to a local judge and stop a legitimate investigation," Riley said at a press conference Thursday night.

The task force had asked the Alabama Supreme Court to remove a judge's order that blocked a raid on the Victoryland casino.

Victoryland closed its casino Monday night and the rest of its facilities, including its new luxury hotel, shortly before the court order was released.

The Governor contends the electronic bingo machines at Victoryland and other casinos violate Alabama law.

The supreme court said the trial court lacked "subject-matter jurisdiction."

"This is another victory for the rule of law," Riley said.

Commander John Tyson says the ruling means the task force will have an easier time conducting investigations.  Tyson went on to say, however, mounting a case will be harder with the complex now completely shut down.

""We had an opportunity to go catch illegal proceeds.  To catch illegal servers and equipment and all of the witnesses that were there.  And I promise you, it will be far more difficult to gather all that up again," Tyson said.

The task force commander would not say when or if he intends to raid the Shorter gaming complex.

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