After months of uncertainty, it’s official: GreeneTrack is closed
Eutaw’s largest electronic bingo facility, GreeneTrack, has seen its last customers testing their luck, at least for now.
When WVUA 23 called the gaming hall Wednesday, the person who answered the phone said they were not open.
The closure comes after the Alabama Supreme Court last summer determined that GreeneTrack owed Alabama more than $75 million in unpaid taxes.
After that ruling, GreeneTrack temporarily shut down its bingo operation but brought them back in October.
Eutaw city and Greene County leaders told WVUA 23 on Wednesday that if the gaming hall closes for good, they’d be impacted.
Eutaw Mayor Latasha Johnson said her city gets $4,300 each month from GreeneTrack, and people who work there spend their money and live in town, meaning those residents now have no source of income.
“It is going to affect the 75 citizens who lost their jobs,” Johnson said. “With the economy the way it is, that is the problem that bothers me the most.”
Greene County Schools may feel the impact even more. Superintendent Corey Jones said the three schools in the system get more than $13,000 each month from GreeneTrack.
“The money is actually utilized in a variety of areas,” Jones said. “It provides everything that assists with funding school resource officers, to personnel, to transportation, our general fund. It supports all areas of the school district.”
If residents leave Greene County because of GreeneTrack’s closure, they’d of course take their children with them, Jones said. And that means the school system would have fewer students and therefore even less funding coming in from the state and federal governments.
“That is a concern as far as us losing students, especially in a rural small district,” Jones said. “Every student counts. We really value each student. That would be a loss if we lost one student. We definitely would be concerned, but we understand. Parents have to go where the jobs are.”
For their community’s sake, Johnson and Jones said they hope something can be worked out to keep GreeneTrack open.
WVUA 23 reached out to GreeneTrack President and CEO Luther Winn, but he was unavailable for comment.