Alabama House Speaker says state needs enforcement against illegal gambling

November 13, 2023

Jefferson County alone found 70 illegal locations following a recent investigation.

Alabama House Speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter recently addressed concerns regarding illegal gambling around the state, according to an 1819 News local report. The House Speaker has been working toward setting up regulated gambling in Alabama.

The state Attorney General’s Office recently investigated several illegal gambling markets, according to the local report. The county found close to 70 illegal gambling destinations at the conclusion of its inquiry. As a result, Alabama law enforcement raided multiple bingo halls. However, the Jefferson County sheriff did not shut any of the operations down.

Following the investigation and raids, Jefferson County Sheriff Mark Pettway determined that shutting down illegal gambling businesses “wasn’t worth the time or effort when he had more serious and violent crimes to address.”

The county later determined that bingo halls would not have their business licenses renewed, and Pettway stated that he would begin shutting those establishments down.

Ledbetter shared his thoughts with local news, stating that illegal gambling “has gotten out of hand.”

He commented, “We’ve got a problem we’ve got to fix. It’s gotten out of hand. Organized crime has gotten involved because we don’t have a regulatory commission, and to be honest with you, every day I get someone asking when are we going to get to vote.”

The next Alabama legislature session is scheduled to start in early February.

To date, more than 30 states have embraced regulated sports betting since the US Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) in May 2018, also known as the Bradley Act.


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