By Alan Collins
EUTAW, ALA. (WBRC) - As soon as word spread that Greenetrack was open for business Friday, electronic bingo players started flocking to the Eutaw, Ala. track.
"It helps the economy. It's bad down here," Lester Allen, Jr., a Greenetrack-goer said. "This opening this thing will be a great thing."
Greenetrack released a statement Thursday which said that their new e-bingo machines "have been tested and certified as legal electronic bingo machines and cannot be construed as slot machines even under the broad test announced by Attorney General Luther Strange."
Greene County Sheriff Jonathan Benison said he has licensed and inspected the machines. The machines, he said, have been tested by laboratories.
"They meet the requirements based on the six point test of the cornerstone ruling," Benison said. "I believe they are legal."
Even though Greenetrack was raided in the past, Benison said he welcomes the attorney general's office in the future.
"I definitely hope for no raids, but if the attorney general confers with me and wants to come to Greenetrack, or a member of his staff, feel free to do it at anytime," Benison said.
Many who came were curious to see how the new "table-top" machines would operate.
"I wanted to see how they work and if they can get the people of Greene County their jobs back, that is fine," Sheryl White, another patron said.
One player described the new machines as a flat screen where "you get a ticket and put your money in," Shirley Archie said. "I think it will be fine."
Greenetrack General Manager Luther "Nat" Winn says they plan to bring in hundreds more of their new machines. So far the track has hired back 26 employees, way short of the 300 before last year's raid.