March 4, 2022 Sports Betting, Casino, Legal

New casino and state lottery bill proposed in Alabama

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The proposal would authorize eight casinos in the state.

An Alabama lawmaker has introduced a new proposal to create a lottery. The bill also includes bringing casinos and sports betting to the state. 

The casino and state lottery bill was proposed by Republican Sen. Greg Albritton. Albritton stated that “It’s time Alabama got in the game," during a news conference. However, divisions between groups have the bill against a legislative time crunch.

This bill would create a state lottery, and the revenue seen would go to funding scholarships. Alabama would also use the revenue earned on other educational needs in the state. 

The bill doesn’t stop at a state lottery, it would also authorize eight casinos with table games and online sports betting. Sports betting would be restricted to sites owned by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians and existing dog tracks. The bill would also authorize two additional operations on a smaller scale with up to 300 slot machines. 

Albritton proposed this bill because he believes the state is losing out on revenue. In the news conference, he stated: “We need to take action on this now.” He went on to say "Waiting another year is not going to help us." 

Four of the eight proposed casinos would be located at existing dog tracks. The operators of these facilities would have the opportunity to bid on the licenses in a competitive fashion. The track owners would then get a chance to place the final bid, should they choose to. 

Some have voiced concerns surrounding the bid, primarily Rep. Kelvin Lawrence, a Democrat from Hayneville. Lawrence noted that this bill could put existing bingo facilities out of business. 

During a conference, he said: “It’s just an effort to appease us, but it basically puts us on life support. We're talking about a community that is underprivileged, 90% poverty. It would be a catastrophe if those facilities are closed.”

If the bill in question is approved, it will go to the voting floor in November.

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