Espy says VictoryLand to open at 2 p.m. today

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After two years with the doors closed, an attorney for VictoryLand casino owner Milton McGregor said the facility will reopen at 2 p.m. today. VictoryLand, which was once the largest employer in the county, has been closed since August 2010.

Macon County Sheriff David Warren, from left, his attorney James Anderson and BMM Compliance representative Rich Williamson present the electronic bingo machines as legal at Victoryland in Shorter on Dec. 12, 2012. (Mickey Welsh/Montgomery Advertiser)

McGregor had said earlier this year, after he was acquitted in a federal corruption trial, that he planned to reopen by the end of the year.

Joe Espy, an attorney for McGregor helping with the reopening, said just before 7 a.m. today that the casino would reopen.

There has been an ongoing fight over the legality of the machines that will be used at VictoryLand.

McGregor, Espy, Macon County Sheriff David Warren and experts hired by Warren have said the machines are not slot machines, which are illegal in the state, but are legal electronic bingo machines.

Attorney General Luther Strange disagrees and believes they are slot machines. He has vowed to enforce the rule of law and has contested the liquor license for the facility, delaying the process for the casino to receive the license from the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control board.

Espy said last week that the facility would reopen before the end of the year with 200 to 250 employees and about 1,200 machines. He hopes, once the facility is up and running, that operators can expand the number of machines and expand the number of employees to 2,500, the number at the facility before it closed under the threat of raids from a task force formed by then-Gov. Bob Riley.

McGregor closed the facility in August 2010 because of the threat of raids.

– posted by Sebastian Kitchen

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