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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Alabama Legislature Advances Bills for Sports Betting and Expanded Gambling

Alabama Legislature Advances Bills for Sports Betting and Expanded Gambling

Publish Date: 02/17/2024
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

In a significant step towards legalizing sports betting and expanding gambling options, the Alabama House of Representatives passed two bills on Thursday. One was a proposed constitutional amendment, and the other was a companion bill.

The House approved the amendment to authorize the expansion of legal gambling in the state. The legislation aims to regulate existing illegal gambling activities and smooth over related issues.

A second bill detailing how the lottery and casinos would operate passed with a vote of 67-31. The legislation now goes to the Senate. The Legislature hasn’t approved a lottery bill since 1999, and if this year’s plan passes, it will be on the November ballot.

It’s been 25 years since the people of Alabama have been able to give their voice. Today I think the members worked together and represented their districts to give the people a voice.

House Speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter, R-Rainsville

Republican legislative leaders have prioritized these bills for the session, expediting their legislative process. Introduced last Thursday, the bills could undergo the first-floor vote within a week. After a public hearing on Tuesday, the committee swiftly approved the bills with about 30 minutes of debate.

The proposed legislation outlines the establishment of a new Alabama Gaming Commission responsible for issuing licenses for up to seven additional casinos. These would be allocated to Jefferson, Greene, Macon, Mobile, Lowndes, and Houston counties. The state’s efforts to curtail electronic gambling operations in most counties have been ongoing.

Additionally, the legislation includes a provision for a tenth site, subject to a negotiated compact with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. This would grant the tribe a license for a casino on non-tribal land in the northeast corner of the state near the Georgia state line, complementing the three existing tribal sites.

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