Alabama Voters May Hold Fate of Sports Betting in Nov. '22
The Alabama Senate passed a bill Tuesday night that contained a constitutional amendment to allow for sports betting and casino-style gambling in the state.
The senate passed the constitutional amendment, and three companion bills, by a 23-9 vote and will now head to the state House of Representatives for approval. If approved, state residents will have a chance to vote on the legalization of Alabama sports betting in the general election held next November.
State Senator Jim McClendon (R-Springville), the primary sponsor of the bill, had an initial gambling bill that proposed nine casinos and the creation of a state lottery fail in the Senate by two votes on March 9.
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 Allows for Alabama 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 in the state and would 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.