A vote on a lottery bill could arrive in Alabama legislature this week, as lawmakers aim to present the issue of gambling before state voters for the first time since 1999.
Republican Senator Jim McClendon of Springville is aiming to get a Senate vote on the bill, which would authorize a lottery where tickets can be sold at stores and through a mobile phone app.
The bill was approved by the Senate Tourism Committee in March 2021, but it has yet to receive a floor vote amid continuing negotiations over whether to include casinos. A proposal to commence a state lottery and up to ten casinos recently failed by two votes in the Alabama Senate.
Alabama is one of five US states without a state lottery, with voters in 1999 rejecting Governor Don Siegelman’s proposal. Lawmakers in both parties, however, now believe voters would welcome the idea.
McClendon’s bill would divide lottery revenue evenly between the state education and general budgets, with the Senator aiming to take a vote on a lottery bill that does not include casino gambling.
“The lottery is not dead by any means,” said McClendon. “I have heard from many, many, people that just want to be able to vote on a lottery.”