One state senator is confident a piece of legislature containing a constitutional amendment to allow for sports betting and casino-style gambling will receive a vote in the Alabama House of Representatives before the end of this year’s legislative session.

State Representative Tracy Estes (R-17) spoke on The Jeff Poor Show earlier this week and said he would be very surprised if the sports betting bill did not receive a vote in the House of Representatives.

“I’m learning to never say never as I get to where I age a little bit. But based on the conversations I’m hearing, I would be surprised if it does not come up for an actual vote on the House floor,” Estes said during the interview.

Estes noted his beliefs do not coincide with the legalization of gambling. Still, if the bill was passed out of the house, he would not attempt to block it from being placed on a future general election ballot for state residents to decide by vote.

“If this bill gets out of the house, if the actual legislation on the gambling passes, that is for you to decide. I would not be comfortable to come back and try to block it,” he noted in the interview.

Alabama sports betting would be in the hands of the voters

The senate passed the constitutional amendment (and three companion bills) by a 23-9 vote earlier this month.

If approved by the House, state residents will have a chance to vote on the legalization of Alabama sports betting in the general election held next November.

If approved by voters, an Alabama Education Lottery Corporation will be created to operate a state lottery in Alabama. Alabama is only one of five states in the country not to have a state lottery system.

Proceeds from the lottery would be deposited in a lottery trust fund for education purposes and scholarship programs.

Legislation would allow for casino-style gaming and sports betting

The legislation, SB 319, would allow casino-style gaming and sports wagering operated only at sites in Jefferson County, Mobile County, Macon County, Green County, Houston County and Jackson or DeKalb County, and on lands held in trust for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians pursuant to a compact.

The amendment would also create the Alabama Gaming Commission to supervise the conduct of sports wagering and casino-style games, as well as bingo and raffles, in the state.

The Alabama Gaming Commission would adopt rules governing the licensing, administration and conduct of sports wagering. It would also require the governor to negotiate a compact with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

Licenses would be awarded for sports wagering and casino-style games for specified terms after a competitive bidding process is established by the commission.  Meanwhile, a tax rate would be set on the net gaming revenues of the operations, except operations on lands held in trust for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.