Victoryland Battle Embarrassing Alabama?


By Ashley Thompson




Governor Bentley told us that while he did know about the raid beforehand, he had nothing to do with it.





Victoryland first opened years ago. Since then the casino has been raided and shut down twice and some think it's time to settle this issue once and for all.

Many Alabamians are tired of hearing about the ongoing battles that have followed Victoryland since its' opening a few years back. And some people aren't even sure if the gambling machines in the casino are indeed illegal, as Attorney General Luther Strange says they are. Governor Robert Bentley says he understands the frustrations of Alabamians and would like to see some resolve himself.

"I think the people of Alabama want it settled," he says. "I think they're tired of dealing with gambling and they want it settled and it's time that the courts decide if its legal or if it's not legal."

Back in 2010, when Bentley was running for Governor, he said if elected he would try to let the citizens of Alabama vote for or against gambling.

"Now, what I would like to see is true vote," said Bentley in 2010. "Up or down. Yes or no."

But he tells us he isn't able to do that without some help from other politicians.

"That is something that I've said in the past. I always trust the peoples' ability to make decisions. However, the legislature has to pass something so that the people could vote on it. I don't have authority to do that. That's up to the legislature. If they would pass it, I always trust the people."

But the back and forth between Victoryland supporters and Attorney General Strange has some fed up and worried that Alabama may not be leaving the rest of the country with a good impression.

"It doesn't look good," says Joi Lee of Montgomery. "I mean, you know, I think that a decision needs to be made. Put it in the courts and you know, make a final decision. Either keep them open or outlaw it."

"It makes us look worse," says Devin Young of Tuscaloosa. "It makes us look like we can't decide, can't keep a decision."

Political Analyst Steve Flowers agrees, saying the issue of gambling in Alabama is something being mocked by other states.

"They're probably all laughing because it seems like a circus," he says. "Let me tell you this fact, we're one of only three states in America out of fifty states...47 other states have gambling that the state gets money off of. Most people want some clarity of this thing. It's just so confusing to most Alabamians."

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