Macon County residents critical of task force

Posted by Cody Holyoke - bio | email

SHORTER, AL (WSFA) - Residents in Macon County are dealing with Victoryland's sudden shutdown--and the loss of some 600 jobs.

"I hate [the Governor's Task Force on Illegal Gambling]. Tyson needs to go somewhere. Bob riley can go with him," said Gloria Williams of Tuskegee.

Many Macon county residents are furious, fed up, and worried about the state of affairs in their small part of the world--with a revenue source now temporarily stifled.

"Victoryland helped a lot of peoples. They gave them jobs. Helping out the schools. Helping out the old folks," explained Patricia Calhoun of Shorter.

As the case lingers in the court system, business is already slowing.   Stores near the complex report a drop in sales since the closure--especially since many drivers are hopping back on the interstate after being sent on their way by Victoryland Police.

"We called to make reservations at the Oasis. We kept calling, and for some reason they didn't answer the phone. When we got here, this is what we got," said Dee Southern, who drove from Atlanta to try her luck at the gaming center.

As the battle rages on, residents question the rules of the fight.

"They're not selling drugs. They're not selling alcohol. All they're doing is letting the machines go and letting people make a little bit of money when they can," Calhoun said.

State Representative Pebblin wWrren held a press conference Monday to speak out against the task force.  Warren requested the state's Rapid Response Team to help workers.

She says the complex will--at most--employ about 75 workers to run the dog track when Victoryland re-opens later this week.

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