Alabama sports betting legislation was introduced on Thursday, but it faces long odds of passage.
Senate Bill 294, introduced by state Sen. Greg Albritton, would establish the Alabama Education Lottery and Gambling Commission for the purpose of regulating, among other things, sports betting.
The bill has been assigned to the Senate Tourism Committee and has its first hearing scheduled for March 9.
Specific details of the legislation include:
- Minimum age to place a sports bet is 21;
- Mobile and retail sports betting allowed;
- $100,000 license fee for a sports operator;
- 20% tax on gross revenues paid to the state by sports betting operator;
- Professional and collegiate sports bets, as well as prop bets are permitted.
If the measure is approved by both chambers, it would go before the Alabama voters in November.
“It’s time Alabama got in the game,” Albritton said at a news conference, as reported by the Associated Press.
Where Sports Betting Stands Now In Alabama
Alabama is one of just five states that does not have a lottery. Mobile sports betting is legal in Tennessee to the north, while retail sports betting is available in Mississippi to the west.
During his press conference, Albritton said sports betting is already taking place in the state but that Alabama is not benefiting from it.
“This is an industry that is running rampant in the state of Alabama,” he said, as reported by AL.com. “The state has no control over any of these activities. Alabama has no benefit from all of these activities, and yet we’re still suffering the consequences. We need to take control.”
There are less than two weeks left in the Alabama Legislature 2022 session, but Albritton believes the bill can pass.
Others are not so sure.
“We’ll have to see how the body reacts to the work that he’s done in regard to this very important issue,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Reed.
Past Attempts At Sports Betting Have Failed
The bill is similar to legislation passed in the Senate last year, but it died in the House before it could reach a floor vote.
Alabama is a majority Republican state, but many Republicans are opposed to sports betting on moral grounds. In order to pass the legislation, Albritton will need Democratic support.
Also read: New York Sports Betting Bill Would Allow Up To 16 Mobile Operators