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2/22/2013 Group Watch: Alabama AG Closes Victoryland

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange embarked on a double-barreled assault on “illegal gambling” Tuesday, seizing electronic bingo machines at the newly reopened Victory Land and filing a lawsuit in hopes of closing the state’s three Indian casino. The two actions were the latest in the long-running legal war over electronic bingo. Attorney Strange said the actions were taken to stop illegal gambling, but lawyers for the casinos say the actions are without merit and leave hundreds out of work. State troopers and investigators with the attorney general’s office arrived at Victory Land shortly before 8 a.m. with a search warrant obtained after the State Supreme Court ordered a local judge to reconsider his denial of the request. Trucks carried away hundreds of machines from the facility, along with an unspecified amount of cash. The attorney general’s office also filed a suit in Elmore County seeking to close the three Alabama casinos operated by the Poarch Band, alleging the tribe is “ operating, advancing, and profiting from the unlawful gambling activity” in its enterprise. The suit further claims the casinos on Native American land are a public nuisance to the surrounding areas and should be shut down.

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