Monday, May 20 2013 6:31 PM EDT2013-05-20 22:31:27 GMT
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Monday, May 20 2013 6:21 PM EDT2013-05-20 22:21:06 GMT
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SHORTER, AL. (WSFA) -
Victoryland is taking job applications. The electronic bingo casino on Interstate 85 in Shorter, Ala. isn't open for business, but it appears it has been accepting online applications for some time.
An attorney for owner Milton McGregor confirmed to WSFA 12 News that his plans to open the casino are, "on track."
In an interview with WSFA 12 News last March, McGregor said he planned to reopen his facility that once employed about 2,000 people. When asked if he would reopen within a year McGregor said, "I certainly hope so."
Victoryland was granted a liquor license by the state last year.
Tuskegee's Mayor-Elect, Johnny Ford, who authored the amendment in the state legislature that cleared the way for bingo to be played for charity in Macon County, said reopening Victoryland was one of the keys of his platform.
"2,000 or more people could go back to work so that millions of dollars can come to our cities our counties, our school system" Ford said.
He maintains that Victoryland has always followed the law and the scrutiny paid to McGregor by former Gov. Bob Riley's Task Force on Illegal Gambling wasn't warranted.
"We are not illegal" Ford said. "The same machines that are being used at Victoryland are the same machines that are being used by the Native Americans."
Ford is referring to the Poarch Band of Creek Indians which owns and operates three casinos in Alabama in Atmore, Montgomery, and Wetumpka. The Band has maintained that its machines may resemble slot machines but that they are legal and that it abides by a federal definition of bingo.
Attorney General Luther Strange released a statement on the possibility of Victoryland reopening.
Strange said, "I intend to see to it that Alabama's broad prohibitions on gambling are enforced in Macon County."
He continued by saying, "Local officials have no power or authority to expand the definition of legal bingo or legalize other types of gambling."
McGregor closed Victoryland two years ago for fear of further threats from Gov. Riley's task force.
Since he closed the facility, he has been acquitted of federal bribery and conspiracy charges related to a scheme to buy votes for pro-gambling legislation in the state legislature. A federal judge also recently vacated a $64 million judgment against McGregor and Victoryland in an unrelated civil suit.