Lawmaker in Alabama make a new push to legalize sports betting, casinos & lottery
Alabama Lawmaker pushing for sports betting, casinos & lottery
As time moves on, an Alabama legislator is making a last-ditch attempt to legalize sports betting, a lottery, and casinos in the state. If the bill is successful, online sports betting will also be introduced. Last week, Sen. Greg Albritton, R-Atmore, proposed Senate Bill 293, a constitutional amendment to launch new gaming options and launch a new Alabama Education Lottery and Gambling Commission.
The commission would regulate and supervise the state’s expansion into Las Vegas-style casinos, a lottery, and sports betting. Albritton also proposed SB294 to implement the amendment if it’s approved. A hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday in the Senate Tourism Committee.
Deadline approaching for Gaming expansion
The legislative session, restricted to 30 meeting days, will only have nine meeting days remaining on Wednesday. All legislation, including efforts to legalize gambling, must be approved in the Senate and House floors before progressing to Republican Gov. Kay Ivey for her consideration. If approved at the Capitol, the push to expand gaming would be put before voters in November.
The short timeframe at the statehouse means there is little opportunity for the legislation to progress through the process. However, that won’t stop Albritton from tyring. At a recent press conference, he said Alabama is losing hundreds of millions of dollars to neighboring states that have a legal gaming industry.
Albritton said, “we need to take action now.”
Mobile & in-person betting part of Bill
Under Albritton’s legislation, sports betting would be available for in-person wagering at the five licensed casinos. Online and mobile sports wagering would also be allowed on sites offered through the five casinos.
Additionally, five casinos with table games would be permitted throughout the state. The casinos would be located at four current dog tracks, and a site owned by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians owns. Two “satellite casinos,” which only offer electronic gaming machines, would be awarded on a competitive basis.
Gaming revenue would be taxed at 20% and given to education scholarships and other state needs.
Gaming Expansion failed in previous years
Attempts to expand gaming in Alabama have been unsuccessful in previous legislative sessions. The Alabama Track Owners Association stated these failed attempts had cost the state $700 million each year in tax revenue.
The association’s website says they have sat by for over 20 years while the Legislature hasn’t taken advantage of a casino gaming and lottery economic development opportunity that would see “good high-paying jobs and bring additional tax revenue” to the state.
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