Ala. AG Luther Strange Discusses VictoryLand Raid

By: CNN
By: CNN

Alabama officials recently raided and shut down an electronic bingo operation. Hundreds of people lost their jobs when Victoryland was closed.

When asked if shutting down Victoryland a priority, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange said, "I'd really like to talk, [but] I'm here to talk about school safety initiatives this morning."

Before Strange spoke about school safety issues in Montgomery, Alabama News Network found him backstage and asked why he served a search warrant at VictoryLand last month.

"We enforce the law consistently across the state," he said. "It is very important to us. VictoryLand, as the Supreme Court has said, is operating illegal machines, but we had no choice to take the action we did, and treat them the same way we do everyone else like Houston County situation, in Greene County and of course, in Jefferson County. All over the state where we had this issue."

But why weren't other casinos like Greenetrack raided?

"We have already shut down Greenetrack," Strange said. "They continue to reopen, but that case is in court. We are handling this to allow everyone to have their day in court. We just have to make sure we enforce the law consistently."

VictoryLand reopened in December bringing on some 400 employees. When the casino was shut down, all but six were let go.

"Well before they opened, we gave them the opportunity to go into court and show that it was legal," Strange said. "I am sorry they didn't take that opportunity."

Scott Leonard was one of the VictoryLand employees that lost their job.

"Mr. Strange, I am 41-years-old. How am I supposed to know this was going to happen? I think you knew that this was going to happen. How am I supposed to support myself after waiting all this time to go back to work?"

But Strange says the blame lies on VictoryLand.

"I'm sorry for the people that lost their jobs. I am sorry they didn't take us up on our offer."


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