Don’t you love this! This morning the attorney general’s office and state troopers served a search warrant and raided the newly reopened VictoryLand casino in the latest development in the ongoing legal war over electronic bingo. AG Luther Strange said a search warrant was issued after investigators determined the gambling machines at VictoryLand were illegal under state law. A lawyer for Victoryland fired back that the attorney general was trampling on the rights of the legal business. Officers seized several hundred gambling machines and an undisclosed amount of cash from VictoryLand, according to the attorney general’s office. From this classic video; imagine doing your job or having fun and then suddenly seeing a gun pointed at you.
The AG office also has filed a lawsuit to try to shut down casinos operated by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. AG Luther Strange called the lawsuit another tool to stop illegal gambling. A statement issued by the Poarch Band called the lawsuit without merit and said Strange had no jurisdiction over Indian land. The lawsuit alleges that the Poarch Band is “operating, advancing, and profiting from unlawful gambling activity” at three casinos across the state. It also claims the casinos on Native American land are a public nuisance to the surrounding areas and should be shut down. Really Mr. Strange?
The State of Alabama is not going to be successful in shutting down the Indian casinos. Under federal law, Indian tribes can engage in bingo gambling if it is legal in the state, as it is in Alabama. Strange argues in the suit that the slot-style machines used by the Creeks don’t qualify as bingo and are, therefore, illegal under state law. The National Indian Gaming Commission has rebuffed Strange’s interpretation. Under its rules, if a state allows bingo in any form, the tribe is allowed to run whatever kind of bingo it chooses, including the electronic variety. So in the words of Nelson Rose, “It’s a public embarrassment for a state official to be doing this.”
Mr. Strange has also filed a brief in Alabama Supreme Court asking it to apply in Alabama a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that limits the federal government’s ability to hold Indian lands in trust, and therefore under federal jurisdiction. If successful, the move would put Poarch lands under state authority and jeopardize the band’s legal standing to game. So people in the State of Alabama wants to limit the rights of Indians just because they are operating a casino? Wow, I thought I have seen everything!
Luther Strange is like a middle school girl who whines and pouts when he doesn’t get his way. How many tax dollars have been spent on these raids? And how many jobs are being lost because of Luther Strange? This state has much bigger problems to focus on like crime rates, unemployment, education… the list goes on and on. These casinos keeps money here and helps our economy, and the Indians are giving money to our schools, and sponsoring entertainment in our areas to give us something to do in Alabama so we don’t go and spend money in other states. For the people who gamble, that is their business, and if they are going to do it, there is nothing we can do to stop them. They will take their business to other states and help their economy instead of ours.
These people make me want to scream! The very same ones who scream about gambling do not care a rat’s behind about alcohol and drug abuse, child abuse, animal abuse, poverty, healthcare, education, and gun violence…just so they can make their “in your face” and “in the doorway” stand for their 15 minutes of fame. They are such bloody hypocrites. People are going to gamble, if they can’t do it in Alabama, they will just go to another state and Alabama will lose that money!
If people thinks gambling is bad, then we should also ban strip clubs, beer stores, charity drawings for churches and schools, bingo halls and porn stores. When you compare Alabama to all of our bordering states, we are back in the dark ages in the way of progress. I thought we were supposed to have a separation of church and state. That’s what they say when people want prayer back in schools. What’s the difference in that and the state acting on the influence of all our Baptist ministers when it comes to gambling and alcohol sales? Luther Strange and the state leaders just needs to get over it! We are going to gamble. We are adults and should be able to spend our money like we wish. Besides it only hurts Alabama in the long run. We just give our money to other states…don’t you think they know that?
- Twitter reacts to Victoryland raid with disappointment, frustration, and humor (al.com)
- AG’s lawsuit against Poarch Creek bingo is ‘frivolous,’ gambling lawyer says (al.com)
- Victoryland closed again with Troopers serving warrants, reports say (al.com)
- Some Alabama lawmakers speak out against VictoryLand raid (al.com)