Ford Asks for Clarification on Victoryland Case

FORDVICTORYLAND PICTURETuskegee Mayor Johnny Ford held a public press conference Thursday in front of the U.S. Federal Court Building on the status of Victoryland’s reopening. Ford is delivering a letter to Attorney General Luther Strange and Governor Robert Bentley, asking for them to clarify the State’s position on electronic gambling machines.

Ford asked U.S. Attorney George Beck to write the letter. Beck writes that before any legal action can be taken, four questions must be voluntarily answered:

1. Does the state recognize a legal distinction between a slot machine and an electronic bingo machine?
2. Can the State furnish any document, expert opinion or Alabama Court Opinion that expressly declares the machine sin question to be “slot” machines?
3. If the position of the State is that the machines in question are “slot” machines as opposed to “Electronic Bingo” machines, does the State intend to oppose the operation of such machines on tribal lands as well as non-tribal lands?
4. Does the State of Alabama consider either of the Memorandum of Understandings (marked as exhibits D and E in the letter) to be a Tribal-State compact, or negotiations of such a compact, that allows Class III gaming on tribal lands in Alabama?
The letter then states, “Gambling has become a very complex, but important question to the citizens of the Middle District.” Mayor Ford agrees with this statement, saying more than 2,000 jobs would be created by Victoryland, and possibly millions in revenue. Ford claims the treatment of Macon County citizens is unfair, and that the nation needs to know about what he calls an “injustice to Macon County citizens.”
“We are asking for help,” Ford says. “If Alabama can get national news about someone’s personal activities, here’s an opportunity for us to get national news about the way people have been mistreated by this state and by this attorney general.”
Ford adds that when this letter is answered, he and Beck will begin moving forward with the legal steps they have planned. Once those plans are in motion, Ford says, progress on Victoryland could start the following month.
Categories: Montgomery