Alabama Gambling Bills Include Sports Betting, Casinos, and Lottery

Two house bills that included proposals to legalize three segments of gambling — sports betting, casinos, and state lottery — were introduced in the Alabama legislature this week. The voting on these proposals could occur next week as the state tries to introduce its gambling market again. The first proposal suggests an amendment to the state’s constitution. The other proposal is a lengthy bill focusing on the intricate details of legalizing casinos, sports betting, and state lottery.

If the lawmakers of Alabama approve either proposal, the state’s voters will get to convey their opinion on it during the general election towards the end of this year. This will be the first time in 25 years that a public vote is being cast to approve or reject the legalization of gambling. Alabama is one of seven states that has no gambling legislation. The other six states include Alaska, Idaho, Minnesota, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.

Alabama shares a complicated history with gambling, with numerous discussions to legalize the activity in the past. Still, none of the past proposals have seen the stamp of approval. Three out of four states around Alabama — Florida, Mississippi, and Tennessee — have a legal and live gambling market, while there is active legislation in Georgia.

Here is more on the two Alabama gambling bills.

What Is in Line for Alabama if Proposals Are Approved?

After first viewing, the members of the House of Representatives have mixed feelings about the proposals. The first proposal, HB151, is a nine-page document that suggests an amendment to the existing Constitution of the State of Alabama. It is quite straightforward and shows a simple path the federal state can use to legalize three gambling segments within its borders.

Meanwhile, the other proposal, HB152, is a detailed 143-page document that properly focuses on all aspects revolving around the legalization of the three gambling segments. Since the lawmakers have mixed opinions, it is difficult for any proposal to receive approval, and ambiguity continues to loom over the future of gambling activity in Alabama.

However, if either of the proposals is approved and the Alabama residents vote in favor of establishing the state’s gambling market, the doors will open for multiple operators. The state would allow up to 10 brick-and-mortar casinos, legalize Alabama retail and online sports betting, and create the state’s lottery.

The location for the 10 casinos has already been finalized. There are already three tribal bingo locations active under the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. These venues will receive a license in Atmore, Montgomery, and Wetumpka. Away from tribal land, the Alabama Gaming Commission would have up to seven licenses to offer.

Locations for casinos in the counties of Greene, Jefferson, Macon, and Mobile have already been finalized, with each venue getting a license for a land-based casino. Houston County and Lowndes County will get a license each, while the final license could be issued to Poarch Creek to launch a tribal casino on non-tribal land.

The Financial Impact of Gambling Legislation

All states benefit from increased tax generation as the revenue can be utilized for numerous purposes, improving the overall health of society. If Alabama launches a regulated gambling market, it will start generating tax from two out of the three gambling segments: iGaming and sports betting.

A tax of 24 percent would be levied on the total revenue generated by licensed iGaming operators offering virtual slots, table games, and more. Also, revenue generated exclusively from sports betting would be taxed at 17 percent. According to reports, the projected annual revenue from all gambling segments could cross the $800 million mark.

The Utilization of Funds Collected Via Gambling Taxes

Every year, members of the House of Representatives will have the authority to allocate the funds according to the needs of the state. Primarily, the revenue will be divided into two trust funds under the state: Lottery for Education Fund and Gaming Trust Fund.

Revenue generated from the state lottery would be exclusively dedicated to the education sector, with the funds powering multiple scholarships, local school systems, and various other research programs at the state’s university. Revenue generated from the other two segments will be dedicated to the state’s infrastructure and aiding individuals with a low income.


About the Author
Nikhil Kalro

Nikhil Kalro

Nikhil Kalro covers the sports betting industry and revenue reporting at Gaming Today. Much of his work analyzes state revenue information, including betting activity and revenue for individual states and sportsbook operators. In addition, Nikhil provides news updates on the gambling industry itself, including product launches and legal issues. Nikhil’s previous experience includes five years with ESPN.

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