White Hall's Southern Star Casino reopens - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

White Hall's Southern Star Casino reopens

LOWNDES CO., AL (WSFA) -

It's been a whirlwind week in Alabama in regards to bingo/gambling news, but things are starting to sound a lot like they did in the past.

Less than a week after Victoryland owner Milton McGregor found himself acquitted in the gambling corruption trial, his pronouncement that his casino will reopen with the same machines, and the Attorney General's promise to enforce state laws, it appears other casinos are finding now a good time to reopen.

Friday was the first full day of operations at the Southern Star Entertainment Center in White Hall. The glitzy lights flashed from the business marquee, inviting customers to come play.

Southern Star was open for only a month in 2010 before closing due to the electronic-bingo controversy and the Task Force on Illegal Gambling that forced facilities across Alabama to close. Southern Star was originally a paper bingo center, but it's now operating electronic bingo machines.

Gone are the threats of raids by former Governor Bob Riley who created the task force after citing inaction on the matter by then Attorney General Troy King. Risk still remains, however. New Governor Robert Bentley transferred all related cases back to new Attorney General Luther Strange who holds a tough stance on the matter.

Strange says he will uphold the state's laws, issuing a statement last week after learning of McGregor's decision to reopen with the same machines the state believes to be illegal. McGregor's team insists they aren't breaking any laws.

The reopening of Southern Star and McGregor's Victoryland plans come at the same time as a new report that shows Indian casinos are growing faster in Alabama than anywhere else in the United States.

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