For the first time since the attempted raid at Victory land, the Macon County District Attorney jumps into the electronic bingo debate. After inspecting the machines at Quincy's Triple 7, District Attorney E. Paul Jones says the machines fully comply with the state supreme court ruling that defines bingo in Alabama.
It started as the six supreme court rules that define legal bingo versus the electronic bingo machines at Victory land. In the end, Macon County District Attorney E. Paul Jones says Victory land passed the test. "Every single one of those criteria has been complied with by Victory land," says Jones.
From the computer animated bingo cards to the running reels that resemble slot machines, Jones tested the machine's integrity and he says they match the letter of the law. A direct contradiction of Governor Riley's Task Force findings, reporting the machines are illegal because they don't require human interaction. "If you play it blindfolded you would lose every time," says Jones.
Jones says the machines are well within Victoryland's legal rights based on the amendment passed by the Legislature in 2003, which was advertised as electronic bingo. He says this is why the state supreme court omitted Victory land from the list of bingo facilities that couldn't operate electronic bingo machines in the 2009 ruling. "That alone tells me that wasn't the case in Macon County for Victory land," explains District Attorney Jones.
Then there's the case Knowles vs Victory land. The state supreme court reversed a lower court's decision, directing Victory land to pay an employee for a bingo reward. Jones calls that action highly significant in the fight over electronic bingo. "You cannot collect on a case that involves illegal gambling and when they said she was owed some money, they obviously could not have considered what was going on at Victory land to be an illegal gambling operation."
District Attorney Jones is considering filing a declaratory judgement with the state supreme court which would determine outright if Victoryland's operation is legal.