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Kings and Queens of Quarantine

VictoryLand and White Hall casinos temporarily shut down

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February 3, 2010

MONTGOMERY - VictoryLand, the state's largest casino, shut down its 6,000 gaming machines Monday night, and the White Hall casino shut down its 900 machines Tuesday. The casino closures prevent the Governor's Task Force on Illegal Gambling from raiding without a search warrant.

A VictoryLand attorney said their casino closed temporarily for computer changes and is not related to its gaming machines. The casino will reopen but has no date.

A White Hall attorney said their casino closed because it didn't want to risk a raid by the task force which could place their employees and customers at risk. They will also reopen, but the date is uncertain.

In a press conference Tuesday, Mobile County District Attorney John Tyson Jr., who heads the state's anti-gambling task force, reaffirmed his commitment to shut down all gambling operations in Alabama.

Tyson said the task force could eventually remove the electronic games from the casinos of the Poarch Band of Creek Indian if all similar machines under state jurisdiction were removed.

Indian casinos are under the jurisdiction of the federal government. The National Indian Gaming Commission has said that Alabama Indian casinos can have electronic bingo machines as long as paper bingo is legal in the state.

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