Country Crossing Reopening Scuttled

Plans to reopen the Country Crossing entertainment complex in Dothan, Ala., March 24 were scrapped amid state officials’ ongoing power struggle regarding gambling laws.

Country Crossing officials announced the facility would reopen following State Attorney General Troy King’s press conference where he stated anti-gambling task force head John Tyson Jr. was to be replaced and that he’d ordered state agencies to cease all anti-gambling raids, according to the Dothan Eagle.

Country Crossing employees, who’d been unemployed since late January, were then called back to work to prepare the massive complex for business.

But that excitement was short-lived.

Gov. Bob Riley held his own press conference to announce that Tyson remains in charge of the anti-gambling task force regardless of what King said, the Eagle reported.

Country Crossing attorney Will Matthews told the paper that decree left no other choice but to remain closed.

“Based on what the governor said, what the Department of Public Safety said and what the head of the ABC Board said – that their allegiance is to John Tyson and the governor – I feel it’s in our best interest to stay closed until we get a judicial determination of who’s running law enforcment in the state of Alabama,” Matthews said.

Country Crossing has been shuttered since Jan. 29 when Gov. Bob Riley’s anti-gambling task force tried to raid the development’s bingo hall, claiming it housed illegal electronic bingo machines on the premises.

Not so, said Country Crossing officials, and the legal tug-of-war commenced, leaving hundreds of people without jobs in the process.