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First day of testimony in bingo corruption trial

The Birmingham News reports: VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor told a state senator last year that he would never regret it if he voted for a gambling bill because McGregor had a habit of supporting friends.

The comment was caught on a recording that Sen. Scott Beason, R-Gardendale, made as casino owners courted his vote for a gambling bill and that was played Monday to jurors in the State House vote-buying case.

Beason testified Monday that he believed casino interests were offering to buy his vote. He also said Sen. Harri Anne Smith, I-Slocomb, assured him in an earlier conversation that gambling interests would give him $500,000 for a statewide race.

"You need some new friends ... and we've got a bad habit of supporting our friends," McGregor tells Beason in one of the recordings played in court.

McGregor and eight others are on trial on charges of buying and selling votes on a gambling bill in 2010. They are accused of offering legislators campaign contributions, a job and re-election assistance in exchange for yes votes on the legislation. -- Read the whole story --> McGregor on tape in the Alabama bingo trial: 'We don't forget our friends' | al.com

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