New Legislation Changes Gambling Plan for Alabama, Sports Betting and Casino Games Removed

After the legislation was approved by the Alabama Senate committee, the casino industry in the state is facing a lot of changes. According to the new legislation, the lottery will be legalized, but sports betting and full casino games are banned from the state.

Change in the plans:

On February 15, the Alabama House approved the legislation that would lead to the legalization of sports betting operations and the opening of seven new casinos. Lottery was also approved, and that remained the same, but the situation for other services was dramatically changed. Alabama is now looking forward to the special election on September 10, on which the fate of the casino industry in the state will be decided. Instead of the general election in November, the constitutional amendment will approve or disapprove the gambling services in September.

According to Senator Greg Albritton, R-Atmore, the changes had to be made in order to collect more votes and ensure passing the legislation. After the Senate Tourism Committee approved this new legislation, the next step is the constitutional amendment. In order to pass, 12 of 35 senators in total will have to approve the legislation. After that, the House will have to approve it one more time, because of the last-minute changes. If the House does not approve it, a conference committee will be in charge of finding a compromise solution that would work for both parties.

Thanks to the recent legislation, the state will be able to create a gaming commission with a special enforcement division. The main duty of this regulatory body will be to limit, regulate, and control taxes in Alabama’s gambling industry.

Albritton commented on this: “Those are the things that we’re trying to get started 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.” 

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Limitations in the gambling industry:

If the legislation is approved, gambling will be allowed only at the racetracks in Greene, Jefferson, Macon, and Mobile counties. On top of that, the players will be able to gamble in Greene County, as well as at bingo halls in Houston County and White Hall in Lowndes County.

The halls won’t be allowed to offer electronic bingo and casino games. Among the activities that would be available are pari-mutuel betting on horse and dog racing, as well as betting on historical racing machines.

The proposed tax rate is between 24% and 32%.

Poarch Band of Creek Indians would be able to negotiate with the governor about offering casino games in the tribal lands in Atmore, Wetumpka, and Montgomery. These properties already offer electronic bingo games.

The revenue earned from gambling and lottery would go to Alabama’s General Fund through March 30, 2029. After five years, it is planned to divide the revenue: one-third would go to funding education in the state, one to roads and bridges, and one to the General Fund.

When it comes to sports betting, Albritton says one of the main reasons for its re top646 moval from the plan is the negative impact it can have on the youth. As Al.com reports, he commented: “The most common one was the fear that this would draw in youth too rapidly and too egregiously and too openly.”