Greene County leaders and bingo businesses criticize lawsuit filed by Alabama AG

EUTAW, Ala. (WIAT) — The Mayor of Eutaw and the president of Greenetrack are speaking out about a lawsuit filed by the Alabama Attorney General.  Steve Marshall announced on Wednesday that the state would be filing multiple lawsuits against casinos in five counties that continue to operate illegal slot machines.

Eutaw Mayor Raymond Steele is calling Steve Marshall’s lawsuit ridiculous. Greene County is named in the lawsuit.

“And for them to want to shut down the only thing that is keeping us surviving right now, I cannot just stand by and not say anything. I think we have a legitimate 743 amendment and that is what I am standing on and I believe it’s legal.  And that is what I am going to stand on and we are going to stand up for it,” Steele said.

The lawsuits call upon local courts to prohibit defendants from promoting, operating, and transporting “electronic bingo” machines and slot machines in their counties. The state also filed motions for preliminary injunctions to “cease unlawful gambling operations in these counties while lawsuits are pending.” The lawsuits were filed in Greene, Houston, Lowndes, Macon, and Morgan counties.

Luther Winn is the President and CEO of Greenetrack. He is criticizing the lawsuit and says his business is a legal electronic bingo facility that was approved in Greene County. In 2003, Winn says Greene County residents overwhelmingly voted in favor for amendment 743 he says makes electronic bingo legal. Greenetrack has been operating electronic bingo since 2004.

“I am bothered because it is a distraction, but we will win in the end. Read the constitutional  amendment that authorizes electronic bingo for Greene County that is all. Just read it to see what it says. Electronic means electronic bingo and that is what we do here in Greene County,” Winn said.

Mayor Steele says he is confident the lawsuit will fail, but says if it goes through it could seriously cripple the local economy of Eutaw. Funds from electronic bingo support the Sheriff’s Office, Greene County Hospital and the Firefighters Association to name a few.

“We don’t have industry, we don’t have commercial development most communities have that can support their infrastructure. Therefore it’s going to be devastating”.

Steele is calling on Attorney General Steve Marshall to come to Greene County to meet with him and others to try to find a solution to this issue.

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