Alabama Sen. Committee approves modified gaming bill

alabama betting news march 2024

Updated March 17, 2024By Chris Boline
alabama betting news march 2024

The battle to get wide-scale gaming approved in the Cotton State has taken some time and now faces some new hurdles. Per a recent article from a major news outlet in the state, an Alabama Senate committee approved a scaled-back version of gambling legislation earlier this month that would authorize a lottery but would not include sports betting or full casino games. As noted in the report, the plan dramatically changed the legislation approved by the Alabama House on Feb. 15, which would have included sports betting and up to seven new casinos, along with a lottery. The new version moves the date when voters would decide on the constitutional amendment needed to approve the package. That would come in a special election on September 10th, instead of the general election in November. 

In this article, SBS will be going over what to look for from the latest gaming news coming from Alabama along with even more news and info about the state of Alabama betting. 

Changes to bill were made to help pass legislation

According to the same article, Sen. Greg Albritton, R-Atmore, the Senate sponsor of the legislation, said the changes were made in an effort to round up enough votes to pass the legislation. Moreover, the Senate Tourism Committee approved the legislation on voice votes. That puts it in position for consideration by the Senate, where the constitutional amendment will need a three-fifths vote, 21 of the 35 senators, to pass. If that happens, the legislation would have to return to the House because, with the many changes, it would then have to go to a conference committee that would try to reach a compromise between the two versions. 

As noted in the report, the legislation creates a gaming commission with an enforcement division. Albritton said it would achieve the main purposes of limiting, regulating, and taxing gambling in the state, which now falls under a patchwork of local constitutional amendments. “Those are the things that we’re trying to get with and capturing that, controlling it, regulating it, getting the enforcement division set up and doing our job as a state to control this industry,” Albritton was quoted in the article as saying.

New legislation would replace current gaming provisions

Per the article, the legislation would repeal the local constitutional amendments on gambling and prevent future ones. It would limit gambling to the racetracks in Greene, Jefferson, Macon, and Mobile Counties, plus an additional location in Greene County, and at the existing bingo halls in Houston County and in the town of White Hall in Lowndes County. The facilities could offer pari-mutuel betting on horse racing and dog racing through simulcasts and betting on historical racing machines. The proposed amendment would levy a tax of between 24 and 32 percent on gambling activities. Electronic bingo and casino games would not be allowed. 

Moreover, the plan would authorize the governor to enter into negotiations with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. A compact could result in the tribe being able to offer full-scale casino games at its casinos on tribal lands in Atmore, Wetumpka, and Montgomery, which now offer electronic bingo. 

Latest amendment broken down in news report

Per the article, the amendment spells out how net proceeds from the lottery and pari-mutuel gambling would be distributed. Through March 30, 2029, revenue would go to already existing capital improvement and infrastructure projects. After that, one-third would go to educated-relation services, one-third to general government, and non-education purposes, and one-third would go to road and transportation projects. Also, cities and counties where gambling facilities would operate would receive 3% of net revenues. One percent would go to services to respond to problems caused by gambling addictions. 

Albritton said sports betting was removed from the plan mainly because of concerns about its potential harm to younger people. “The most common one was the fear that this would draw in youth too rapidly and too egregiously and too openly,” Albritton said. Asked why the date of the constitutional amendment vote was changed from the general election in November to the special election on Sept. 10, Albritton said, “That’s what I had to do to get the votes.” 

For regular readers of this space, this is a fascinating development given the fact that gaming bills in the state have changed and morphed so much over the years. Of course, Albritton has been associated with many of these new pieces of legislation, but it remains to be seen if it can still pass through the legislature and get drawn into public laws soon. 

Even more notes and info regarding Alabama betting

Once you are all squared away regarding the latest gaming news and notes coming from the state of Alabama, make sure to check out the awesome variety of info for you at SBS. Of course, for even more information on the topic at hand, our sports betting in Alabama guide has you covered. Here you can learn about the latest news regarding gaming in the state and much more. Conversely, for those interested in maximizing their wagers, make sure to tap into the best bonus betting sites rundown which goes over a variety of great into including a catalog of the latest and greatest welcome bonus offers. Finally, for those on the go, the best betting apps breakdown is a must-read page where you can learn more about the perks of mobile betting and how you can always stay on top of the action. 

About the Author

Chris Boline

Chris Boline

As a devout aficionado of sports, Chris Boline has carved a career within the athletic realm. A skilled scribe, he boasts a decade-long portfolio that encompasses coverage of the NBA G League, the Los Angeles Chargers, football in the Mountain West Conference, and basketball.
Beyond his professional pursuits, Chris is deeply invested in his community and dedicates his leisure hours to serving on boards, collaborating with community organizations, and cherishing the company of loved ones.

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