MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The owner of Alabama's largest casino, four state senators and several top lobbyists have been indicted on federal charges accusing them of vote buying in an effort to get a bill passed that would have legalized electronic bingo in the state.
The indictment, which has 11 defendants, was released Monday as FBI agents made arrests at several locations across Alabama.
It accuses the casino owners and statehouse figures of conspiring to make payments and campaign donations to affect "pro-gambling legislation."
VictoryLand casino owner Milton McGregor was among those indicted. His casino, now shut down, has more than 6,000 electronic bingo machines. Also indicted was Country Crossing casino developer Ronnie Gilley of Dothan and state Sens. Harri Anne Smith of Slocomb, James Prueitt of Talladega, Larry Means of Gadsden and Quinton Ross Jr. of Montgomery.
The indictment was dated Friday but not made public until arrests were made Monday. The Justice Department, in a statement, said the accused acted "in a conspiracy to offer and bribe legislators for their votes and influence on proposed legislation."
Also indicted were lobbyists Tom Coker and Bob Geddie, who represent VictoryLand; lobbyist Jarrod Massey and public relations executive Jay Walker, who represent Country Crossing; and Ray Crosby, an attorney for the Legislature who helped write gambling legislation.