Deputy AG hints at contesting liquor licenses at Poarch Creek casinos

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During the Wednesday debate over the liquor license for VictoryLand, a deputy attorney general handling gambling cases insinuated he could contest the liquor licenses for the three casinos operated by the Poarch Creek Indians.

Deputy Attorney General Sonny Reagan said he did not know until looking at documents for the VictoryLand case that those casinos had liquor licenses from the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

Wind Creek Casino in Atmore

“I think I may become a familiar face” Reagan said to commissioners hearing the case in hinting that the office of Attorney General Luther Strange could protest those licenses.

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Strange is contesting the liquor license for the casino at VictoryLand, stating that there is illegal activity at the site. He believes the machines there are slot machines, which are illegal in the state.

VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor, his attorneys, and his supporters have said the machines play legal electronic bingo.

His attorneys and state Sen. Billy Beasley have questioned why the attorney general is fighting the license at VictoryLand, but is not questioning those at the Poarch Creek facilities. McGregor attorney Joe Espy also questioned why Strange’s office has not contested the liquor license for Greenetrack in west Alabama.

“The attorney general is making use of every opportunity he can to run this issue aground,” Reagan said of Strange’s fight against electronic bingo in the state.

The chairman of the hearing commission for the ABC Board said he expects the panel will begin to see more gambling cases and they will consider the legality of gambling in the VictoryLand case, which he said they will likely decide within 15 days, but could extend that period.

– posted by Sebastian Kitchen

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