MONTGOMERY, AL (WBRC) - The battle over electronic bingo operations is expected to continue this week in the courtroom. There is a fear it could also erupt into a physical confrontation.
Victoryland in Macon County remains closed. This week employees received their final pay check. Victoryland owner Milton McGregor, in a show of support, remarked, "This is a shame what they have done here. We had two thousand employees. We had two thousand employees, now we have two thousand employees unemployed thanks to Bob Riley's and John Tyson's illegal activity."
McGregor's Birmingham attorney, Mark White, says the machines in Macon County are legal. "The machines have been certified with an independent laboratory working with the regulator. They comply with Supreme Court decisions," White said.
Greenetrack in Greene County remains open. County leaders are promising a confrontation if the task force seeks to close them down.
State representative John Rogers who heads the legislative black caucus fears there could be a violent confrontation. "People lose their jobs, anything could happen. It could be violent. If my family is hungry, I'm hungry. I will do anything to protect my family. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail," Rogers said.
White says the business community of the state is very concerned about the image of the state that is being projected to the rest of the nation. If there is any confrontation some believe it will project images of the past. "It's taken 50 years to get away from the troopers and police dogs being visited on our citizens," White said.
Later this week, White says McGregor's legal team will determine which court to take their fight to, either in state, federal or both. White says if the task force seeks to seize their machines without a court order the task force will be treated as burglars and authorities will be called.
Gov. Bob Riley maintains all electronic bingo machines are illegal and the only legal bingo allowed in the state calls for paper bingo.
Committees in the Senate and House will have a joint meeting at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday to consider constitutional amendments to permit electronic bingo at 10 locations in the state.
At 11:30 on Wednesday, another committee will consider a bill by Democratic Senator Bobby Singleton to block the governor from initiating criminal investigations.
In the meantime, Governor Riley is reaching out to help casino workers find jobs, since his task force had the casinos shut down.
The Governor has directed the state's rapid response team to assist workers in Macon, Houston and Lowndes Counties.
An informational session begin Tuesday.