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Ronnie Gilley, developer of the Country Crossing entertainment complex in Dothan, Ala., was among 11 people arrested on bribery and conspiracy charges surrounding electronic bingo legislation, Monday, Oct. 4.
According to the Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News, four state senators and two casino owners were also indicted. The 39-count indictment was the result of a federal investigation involving attempts to pass bills the last two years that would have allowed electronic bingo in the state of Alabama. Gilley and teams of lobbyists are alleged to have offered millions of dollars in campaign contributions, benefit concerts by country music stars, plus other promises, in return for favorable votes. Gilley was charged with one count of conspiracy and six counts of bribery, among others.
Country Crossing was planned as a multipurpose entertainment facility that included restaurants bearing the names of country stars such as Lorrie Morgan and Darryl Worley, a George Jones bed and breakfast spot and an amphitheater for live performances. An electronic bingo facility was also planned. Country Crossing was scheduled to open in late 2009 but was delayed by problems with electronic bingo legislation. Under threat of a government raid, the facility was shut down this past January.
Gilley is also a founder of Country Crossing Records, which is home to Lorrie, John Anderson, Lee Greenwood and Aaron Tippin.