VictoryLand Reopens; Attorney General Reacts

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By Jessica Gertler

From Macon County -- Today VictoryLand reopened its doors after it closed two years ago. Owner Milton McGregor tells CBS 8 News this has been a long time in the works. 

McGregor was showered with hugs and cheers just minutes before the casino reopened.

Around 250 people are now back to work.

"Putting people back to work at Christmas time that have been laid off illegally, I might add," says McGregor. "Thank goodness they're back." 

Thousands piled in to play the 400 gaming machines that are up and running, and dubbed legal by the Macon County Sheriff's Office. Eight hundred more machines will be added in the coming days.

In 2010, state troopers tried to raid VictoryLand, because then Governor Bob Riley say these gaming machines were illegal.

Today, Attorney General Luther Strange, who is working to stop illegal gambling, has made it clear in a statement that confrontation could be coming. 

"They will agree to nothing unless we agree not to open which we cannot do," says McGregor's attorney Joe Espy.

Tuskegee Mayor Johnny Ford says VictoryLand is something Macon County needs. 

"As I said all I wanted for Christmas is my two front teeth. No VictoryLand!" jokes Ford. 

And judging by the lines that stretched to the parking garage early in the afternoon, and continued inside well into the evening, There's no doubt people were waiting for the casino to reopen.

"There are a lot of differences. The machines are different. The way you're playing is different," says Porter Albe of Macon County. 

Strange has asked the ABC board to revoke VictoryLand's liquor license, so as of now, liquor is only served upstairs. Not in the casino area.

The ABC Board will meet next month discuss whether or not they will grant VictoryLand a liquor license in the casino. The attorney general's office will be there to fight it. 

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