Supreme Court opens door for Victoryland raid

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama Supreme Court has refused to reconsider its decision that cleared the way for the Governor's Task Force on Illegal Gambling to raid VictoryLand's electronic bingo casino in Macon County.

The court issued an unanimous order Friday rejecting a request by Macon County officials to reconsider its July 30 decision that allowed the governor's task force to operate in Macon County. Any action by the task force had been on hold pending the Supreme Court's decision.

Task force Commander John Tyson says the task force will enforce the law, but he won't say where or when action will be taken.

VictoryLand's electronic bingo machines are closed and sealed off from public view. Tyson contends the machines are illegal slots, and he says it's against the law to possess slot machines in Alabama, even if they aren't in public view.


We are sincerely disappointed but not surprised by the Supreme Court's latest ruling in the case filed by the Macon County District Attorney against John Tyson.  We are disappointed that Bob Riley and John Tyson believe it is a "victory" to cause the loss of thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in charity fees and tax revenues.  We are disappointed that the citizens and school children of Macon County and Greene County continue to suffer as a result of political shenanigans and self-dealing.  We are disappointed that Riley and Tyson tout "the rule of law" when their actions nullify votes by Macon County and Greene County citizens in favor of electronic bingo, their local district attorneys, and their local sheriffs.  We are disappointed that the Supreme Court's explanation for the reassignment of this case from one justice to another is at odds with other known facts.

Everyone should note what this decision does and does not mean.  It does not mean that Commander Tyson is authorized to raid any facility in Macon County.  He is required by the rule of law to obtain a search warrant for that purpose.  He cannot proceed under the "plain view doctrine" since electronic bingo has not been offered at VictoryLand since August 8, 2010.  To obtain a warrant, he must convince a judge that there is probable cause for any entry onto the VictoryLand property.  We will continue to insist that our rights against unreasonable search and seizure are protected as guaranteed by the U. S. Constitution.

While we may be disappointed, we are not downtrodden. No court has ever ruled the electronic bingo machines operated by VictoryLand in Macon County are "illegal slot machines," and nothing Bob Riley and John Tyson say can change that fundamental fact.  We will continue to fight for our employees, and for the citizens and children of Macon County.  We look forward to the day when the reign of King Riley and Commander Tyson ends and Alabama will again be governed by law rather than one man and his confederates.  Fear not: that day is coming soon!

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