Victoryland attorney on raid: "We know what motivates them..."

Published: Feb. 19, 2013 at 8:24 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 1, 2013 at 8:24 PM CST
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Victoryland attorney Joe Espy reacts to the closure of Victoryland Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013
Victoryland attorney Joe Espy reacts to the closure of Victoryland Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Attorney for Victoryland, Joe Espy, III, responded to the attorney general's raid on the Macon County facility Tuesday saying, "We know what motivates them. The question now is who will have the courage to stop them."

Espy said in a written statement that it was a "sad day for Alabama" regardless of one's stance on legal gaming.

Espy defended Victoryland's rights with 4 points:

  1. No court and no expert have EVER ruled electronic bingo to be illegal in Macon County.
  2. No court and no expert have EVER ruled that the machines used at VictoryLand are illegal gaming devices.  Indeed, the only experts to testify say they are bingo machines, not "slot machines" as the Attorney General claims.
  3. The Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the decision of the circuit judge not to sign a warrant after he found that there was no probable cause for signing it.
  4. The circuit judge forced to sign the warrant carefully considered the evidence.  Unfortunately, he was forced to sign the warrant which we respectfully believe is a dangerous precedent.

Espy said Tuesday's actions "prove that they will do anything to try to impose their politics on the state.  They ignore our laws and rules, trample on the rights of law-abiding citizens and businesses."

Attorney General Luther Strange's office says it raided Victoryland after working to "resolve this matter with minimal controversy." The AG's office said it had to act because it had no alternative and because Victoryland was "operating in open defiance of the rule of law".

At the time of the AG's raid on Victoryland, a lawsuit was also being filed in Elmore County in regards to casinos operated by Native Americans.

Espy warned those watching that lawsuit, filed against Indian tribes with casinos around the state, not to be fooled. "The lawsuit against the Poarch Creek Indian a smokescreen and a waste of taxpayer money," Espy said, adding that Attorney General Luther Strange knows he, "has no jurisdiction over Native American gaming."

Espy says all the attorney general's actions will do, in the short term, "is send the customers of Victoryland to the Poarch Creek facility in Wetumpka."

Victoryland is promising to fight Tuesday's actions.

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