The Senate voted 19-13 in favor of the gaming package, two short of the 21 votes necessary an amendment to pass. The amendment called for a lottery, at least a half dozen casinos and a revised gaming compact between the Poarch Band of Creek Indians and the state.
Lottery revenue from Marsh’s proposal would have supported academic scholarships for Alabama community college students.
Republican Sen. Del Marsh sponsored the bill and needed broad support from members of his own party. However, 13 of the state’s 27 Republican Senators rejected the amendment.
“Today’s vote by the Alabama Senate confirms more work must be done, because this issue is too important to not get it right. No doubt gambling is complex and challenging, but I remain committed to giving the people of Alabama the final say," Alabama Gov. Kate Ivey said in a statement.”
Shortly after the vote, Republican Sen. Jim McClendon committed to introducing a separate lottery bill for this session. Alabama is one of only five states without a lottery.
Late last year the Governor’s Study Group on Gambling Policy released a report showing 67% of Alabama residents are in favor of legalized gambling. The report found that Alabama could raise between $510m to $710m from a lottery, casino and sports betting.