Greenetrack focus of AG’s visit

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 27, 2004

EUTAW-Alabama Attorney General Troy King toured the Greenetrack race track in Eutaw on Monday to examine the video gaming machines as part of an information gathering tour of the gambling facilities throughout Alabama. Earlier this month, he visited VictoryLand in Shorter and the Poarch Creek Indian’s gaming hall in Montgomery County.

“My purpose is to familiarize myself with the gaming industry in Alabama so that I can better evaluate complaints received by my office,” King said. “Citizens throughout our state have expressed their concerns to me that there is potential for abuse in these halls and that illegal gambling could be introduced through the gaming facilities that are allowed under state law. As Attorney General, my responsibility is to ensure that these businesses operate within the law. When we find violations, we will act to enforce our laws.”

A special agent of his office who has conducted investigations of gaming operations in the past assisted him with his tour. Personnel and mangers at the race tracks and gaming facilities have cooperated with the Attorney General in his endeavor, which he characterized as a fact-finding mission rather than an official investigation of specific allegations of wrongdoing.

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Lorraine Reagan, controller and Herlecia Hampton, marketing director led King and a group of about 10 people on a tour of the different types of gaming that takes place in Greenetrack. They led King and his small army of associates through the original building showing him the machines and answering some of his questions.

* “How many machines are currently here,” King said.

* “Around 700-750 machines,” Reagan said.

* “How can I get a copy of the rules and regulations for Greenetrack,” King asked.

* “Greene County Sheriff Johnny Isaac has the regulations,” Reagan said.

* “How many people play these games,” King said.

* “A lot of people play these games,” Hampton said.

They continued the tour to the new addition upstairs as well as the traditional bingo hall on the third floor. King said

King asked about the number of charities Greenetrack supports through their gaming and Reagan replied, about 50-60 different charities receive money from the gaming. The charities must fill out a form before they can receive money.

“We’ve given the Greene County Board of Education over $200,000 since we’ve started,” Reagan said.

After the tour of the facility, King answered questions from the media and gave this response.

“My job is to enforce the Alabama State law and the office has received many complaints about the various gambling operations in the state,” King said, “I’m here on a information gathering trip before we can decide on whether the gaming is illegal or not.”

He also talked about touring the Indian casinos, even though he doesn’t have jurisdiction over the Indians, he can make a reference to the Federal Government if he thinks the operation is doing wrong.

“If I saw a need to take action then I would,” King said.