VictoryLand Set to Open By End of the Year Creating Up to 250 Jobs

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By Jessica Gertler

VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor's attorney Joe Espy says the casino will be opened by the end of the year, and could be up and running as early as next week. He says they've started the hiring process and are training new employees.

Espy says 3,200 people applied for jobs, and he's hoping eventually VictoryLand will hire all of those people. But right now, they are bringing more than 200 people on board, and CBS 8 News spoke to one of them.

"I"m going in for orientation today, so we can get started and get ready to open up soon I hope," says Helen Phillips.

She's recently been hired to bartend at VictoryLand

"Everybody is really excited! All my friends are excited. I just can't wait for it to open and go back to work," she says.

Along with Phillips, dozens of new employees made their way into the casino Thursday morning to start orientation.

Phillips says she hasn't been told when the opening day will be, but that she is "on standby. Whenever. We don't know anything about when we are opening. What's going on."

VictoryLand Owner Milton McGregor has directed all questions to his attorney Joe Espy.

"VictoryLand is going to open before the end of the year," says Espy.

On Wednesday, Macon County Sheriff David Warren and an electronic bingo inspector dubbed all 1,200 machines legal. Which means Espy says they can move forward opening the West gaming room of the building and hiring up to 250 people.

"Once we get up and running, we will continue to look at expansion," he says. "The plan will ultimately be to get back to where we were employing in Macon County, in that area, close 2,500 people."

But for now, Phillips says 200 some people have found work, and for her, a job couldn't have come at a better time.

"I haven't worked since they closed. Not a drop. My employment runs out in January, so I'm excited!" she says.

Espy says all of the machines have been designed specifically for Macon County. He says this is the first time they've brought in a certified inspector to check them out and make sure they are legal.

As of now, Attorney General Luther Strange has not said whether he considers these machines legal, but did say the machines used in the past are what he calls slot machines.

Both the AG's office and Espy will not confirm nor deny that they have met with one another.

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