Alabama court sides with governor on casino raid

Court Watch Posted on

Gov. Bob Riley's gambling task force won another victory Thursday when the Alabama Supreme Court tossed out a court order blocking a raid on the state's largest casino.

In a 7-2 decision, the court said a Macon County judge lacked jurisdiction to halt the pre-dawn raid Jan. 29.

"This is another victory for the rule of law," Gov. Bob Riley said Thursday night.

VictoryLand, 15 miles east of Montgomery, closed its casino Monday night. Shortly before the Supreme Court's ruling came out Thursday, the company closed all other facilities, including its dog track, restaurants and new luxury hotel. The closure was designed to keep the Governor's Task Force on Illegal Gambling from returning without getting a judge to approve a search warrant.

Task force commander John Tyson said last week a search warrant was not needed for the thwarted raid because the casino was open and undercover officers were inside observing the gambling machines. He declined to reveal his next step Thursday night, but said he was reviewing the complete closure of VictoryLand.

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