MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley is trying to clear the way for VictoryLand bingo casino and others to reopen.
Bentley on Thursday signed an executive order that said local law enforcement should be the primary enforcer of gambling laws. He rescinded the first executive order he gave after taking office in 2011 that directed the responsibility to the attorney general’s office
The decision comes as the attorney general’s office is appealing a judge’s order to return seized machines to VictoryLand by Nov. 16 because other casinos continued to operate.
Bentley said the court ruling raised concern about the “unequal enforcement” of Alabama gambling laws.
The surprise move is the latest twist in the state’s long running legal battle over the legality of the slot machine look-alikes.
VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor released a statement, saying: “Governor Bentley’s actions today will help put thousands of Alabamians back to work. Our citizens want to work and provide for their families. Our facility will provide jobs for not only Macon County, but hundreds of people in each surrounding county. We look forward to getting our doors open, providing quality entertainment, hiring people and finally being able to compete on a level playing field.”
(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)