By Staff Reports (Shorter, AL) The controversial casino Victoryland is officially back in business.
For the first time since 2010, Victoryland reopened this afternoon and there were long lines of customers there to support it.
Supporters of Victoryland are excited to see it back in business, even though it's a currently slimmed down version of its former operation, including opening without a liquor license.
Owner Milton McGregor, was greeting his patrons before the re-opening following 2 years, 2 criminal trials and a civil case.
McGregor confirms around 300 people are on the payroll today, and around 400 of the 1250 games are up and running. A strong move, despite significant opposition from the Attorney General's office.
(Ala Whitehead/Tuskegee City Council :10)
"I am excited about opening up VictoryLand and we hope that it will remain open forever and forever for these employees and for the city of Tuskegee and Macon County."
(Cynthia Hill/Patron :13)
"I am very happy that it's reopened. I know quite a few people that work here and they will be able to supply and have things for their family for Christmas and the new year and all the way through. I think it's a blessing and I thank Milton McGregor."
(Joe Espy/Attorney for Milton McGregor :13)
"The only offer that Mr. Strange has made to me is number one, don't open VictoryLand, under no circumstances can you open VictoryLand which we cannot agree to under any circumstances."
(Milton McGregor/VictoryLand Owner :16)
"Putting people back to work at Christmas time that have been laid off illegally I might add, should have never been laid off to start with but thank goodness they're back and all that's in the past. I'm looking forward, I'm not looking back."
This isn't the first time Victoryland opened without a liquor license - the same happened in March of 2010. When asked if it would hurt business, McGregor said, it won't help.
A hearing is set for January 23rd with the ABC hearing commission for a final decision on Victoryland's liquor license. NBC 38 also spoke with Alabama Governor Robert Bentley to get his take on the controversial re-opening.
GOVERNOR ROBERT BENTLEY
"Well its always good news when we can create jobs, we just want to do it the right way and we are leaving that up to the attorney general to work with them and make sure they do it the right way."
Although the casino opened today, the Oasis Hotel will remain closed until further notice.
The casino has applied for a liquor license, but again Attorney General Luther Strange has asked the State's liquor control board to deny the casino's liquor license request.
WLTZ NBC 38
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