Former Atty. General Troy King: VictoryLand Raid 'Gives Alabama a Black Eye'

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By Jessica Gertler

From Macon County -- State troopers are standing guard at VictoryLand. Power has been restored to the casino, but the facility remains closed after Attorney General Luther Strange served a search warrant yesterday and seized what he says are illegal gaming machines.

A familiar sight from three years ago when troopers attempted to raid the casino. Alabama News Network spoke to then-Attorney General Troy King to get his take on the matter.

"I had so hoped we were past this," says King. "We had raids. We wasted millions and millions of dollars. We had the federal corruption trail and wasted another hundred million dollars, and here we go again."

King was Attorney General when Bob Riley was governor. Riley had tried raiding VictoryLand in 2010, because he said the casino was skirting gambling laws. King says his opinion then remains the same today.

"I think it should have been dealt with on the ballot," says King. "This is the people of Alabama's state. Everybody has tried every political trick in the book to keep the people from Alabama from having a say, because they are afraid of what they'll say."

Since VictoryLand reopened in December, Strange has not given any interviews. Alabama News Network was told Tuesday when the search warrant was served that he was out of town, and one day later his parking spot remains empty.

Governor Robert Bentley did tell Alabama News Network that knew about the raid last weekend, but says he had little to do with it. Bentley says he is concerned about the 250-some VictoryLand employees who are now out of work.

"We have a lot of empathy for those who worked at a place, and not from their own doing, it closes down," says Bentley.

But King says Tuesday's events are a waste of resources in a time the state could use the money.

"What another black eye on the state of Alabama," he says. "We are firing people. We are laying people off. We are raiding people. It is just unbelievable to me."

Alabama News Network is continuing to reach out to strange. We have been told he is in New Orleans for the BP hearing that is being held on Monday.

We have been told the dog track area and restaurants should hopefully be up and running by the end of the week.



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