Court: Ala. Charities Got Little From VictoryLand

By: Press Office of Gov. Riley
By: Press Office of Gov. Riley

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Figures released in a court opinion show that VictoryLand grossed $125 million from electronic bingo games in 2008 and paid just $1.3 million to charities.

The figures were included in a court order in a federal lawsuit filed by Lucky Palace, a group that tried to open a rival bingo operation across the street from VictoryLand.

The judge also said a lawyer for VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor helped write the regulations that determine who can operate bingo games in Macon County.

While Lucky Palace's lawyers say VictoryLand charities are getting a bad deal, John Bolton, an attorney representing VictoryLand, said payments have increased several times since bingo began there in 2003.

Bolton said the $125 million or more VictoryLand reported as its gross profits in the last two years reported are not bottom-line profit.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Response from Gov. Riley
Federal Court Exposes the Truth About VictoryLand

MONTGOMERY – News reports that VictoryLand -- a casino that professes to be a “charitable electronic bingo” operation -- actually gives less than one percent of its annual profits to charity prompted this reaction from the office of Governor Bob Riley:

“All this talk of how VictoryLand is giving so much money to charities is an illusion, and this federal court ruling completely shatters that illusion. VictoryLand is nothing but an illegal scheme to enrich Milton McGregor and his cronies, and this federal court ruling lays that out for all to see. In his ruling, Judge Keith Watkins found that VictoryLand grossed more than $162 million in 2008 but gave less than one percent of that to 60 charities. That’s less than $22,000 per charity. In contrast, the press has reported former Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford won more than that in a single day.

“This ruling is just more proof that so-called ‘charitable electronic bingo’ is nothing but a sham. The casinos mislead people into believing they’re helping charities. But the reality is, the only people who actually benefit from it are the casino bosses and their cronies.”

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