Alabama Bill Omits Sports Betting and Casino Provision

The Alabama Senate Tourism Committee has opted to exclude sports betting from two upcoming bills, which originally included a spectrum of proposals including a state lottery and online casino games. With this decision, House Bill 151 and House Bill 152 have been amended to focus solely on authorizing a lottery, historical horse racing, and parimutuel wagering.

Senator Greg Albritton, who spearheaded the push for the updated legislation, noted that one of the crucial reasons for excluding sports betting from the proposed framework was its possible negative impact on young people.

HB 151, in particular, presents a constitutional amendment, necessitating a three-fifths majority for its passage. Hence, the overhauled legislature proposes an electoral event set for Sept. 10th to determine the fate of the essential constitutional adjustment concerning the suggested gambling reforms.

Read More: Alabama Sports Betting

Updated Alabama Bill Offers New Conditions

The updated bill contains several significant components and aims to reduce the number of tribal casinos from seven to three.

It permits the establishment of a state lottery, but only at specific racetracks and pre-existing bingo halls. Additionally, it introduces the concept of pari-mutuel betting on both horse and dog racing through simulcasts and historical racing machines. It’s important to note that the proposed amendments explicitly prohibit electronic bingo and traditional casino games.

Moreover, the legislation empowers the governor to engage in negotiations with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. This provision holds the potential to expand the tribe’s current offerings beyond electronic bingo facilities to encompass a broader range of casino amenities on their tribal lands.

Reduced Revenue Outlook for Alabama

Before the amendments, the Legislative Services Agency forecasted that HB 151 and HB 152 would yield annual revenues ranging from $635 million to $913 million. However, after the revisions, Senator Albritton indicates that the expected revenue has been adjusted downward to $350 million.

“I know if we’re talking about curbing gaming in the state, stopping expansion, at least capturing what we can, get a hold of it, state makes some money out of it, be able to fund these programs, we’re leaving a lot of money on the table with sports betting,” Senator Bobby Singleton said, expressing disappointment in the outcome.

What the state generates eventually, proceeds from the anticipated lottery and other kinds of gambling, will first go to the state’s General Fund until March 30, 2029. Following this date, the earnings will be allocated fairly across three main areas: the education budget, the General Fund, and infrastructure projects. This allocation strives to guarantee that the generated revenue helps a variety of vital areas, including education, public finance, and infrastructure development, supporting comprehensive and long-term growth in the state.

While Alabama is showing no interest in sports betting, a handful of regions of the United States are witnessing a surge in sports betting interest. North Carolina is preparing to kickstart its online sports betting services next week, and Vermont, which started sports betting this year on Jan. 11, had Gov. Phil Scott sign the bill into law in June of last year. Meanwhile, in Georgia, sports betting legislation is underway. Should these bills gain approval, the decision on the future of sports betting in the Peach State may ultimately rest with voters come November.


About the Author
Tebearau Egbe

Tebearau Egbe

Tebearau Egbe is a seasoned gambling writer with more than four years of experience. Armed with a Masters degree in philosophy, Egbe possesses a unique ability to dissect complex industry developments, distilling them into insightful narratives that captivate readers.

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