Alabama Sports Betting Bill Again Met With Opposition From State House

Photo by State senator pushing legislation for fans to enjoy betting on Alabama vs. Auburn (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Alabama could see various gambling or sports betting bills this session, but one state senator says it may be a moot point because of opposition in the House. 

“We have the vehicle, if you will, to move this along. We have the votes in the House and Senate to pass these bills,” state Sen. Greg Albritton told Alabama Public Television over the weekend. 

“(But) I’ve been told by House leadership, ‘don’t bring it up. Don’t do it. We’re not going to deal with it this year,’” he said.

Albritton is referring to three separate gambling bills he said he plans to introduce. He offered a few specifics on the legislation and said they were not part of a package. There would be a commission for gambling, online gaming, and Alabama sports betting, he said.

“Can you imagine how much money was won or lost in the last three minutes of the Iron Bowl, played in Alabama, by Alabama players – Auburn and Alabama – and the money went to Las Vegas? We don’t even know what that was,” he said, expressing frustration.  

Additionally, he said he would like to work on a new gaming compact with the Porch Creek Native American tribe. 

County-Specific Alabama Sports Betting Bill Introduced

Last week state Rep. John Rogers introduced House Bill 405, which would bring sports betting to Jefferson County, and only Jefferson County. 

Jefferson County is the home of Birmingham and is located in the central part of the state. It is the most populated county in Alabama. 

HB 405 would create a Jefferson County Sports Wagering Commission, which would be in charge of administering the program. Adjusted gross receipts from sports betting would be taxed at 10 percent. Mobile betting would be allowed, and betting would be restricted to those 21 and older. 

Rogers’ voice mailbox was full and an email sent seeking more information was not answered by the time this story was posted. 

Previous Sports Betting Attempts In Alabama Have Failed

The Alabama Senate passed sports betting legislation in 2021, but the House never took it up and it died.

Alabama is a socially conservative state, and many lawmakers and voters are opposed to gambling in any form on moral grounds. 

But Albritton said gambling is already happening illegally. He acknowledged the likelihood of change in the House is nonexistent.

“That’s a hurdle to overcome. I am struggling with how I am going to deal with that,” he said.  

“Gambling is already present, and all its problems and ills and issues right now. And we have no control over it … it’s the Wild West out there. Alabama’s got to take control of this industry,” he added.

About the Author
Mary M. Shaffrey

Mary M. Shaffrey

Mary Shaffrey is a writer and contributor for Gaming Today with a focus on legislation and political content. Mary is an award-winning journalist who co-authored "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Government." She has spent more than 20 years covering government, both at the state and federal level. As a fan of the Baltimore Orioles and the Providence College Friars she feels cursed. Luckily she is a hockey mom too so her spirits aren't totally shot.

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