- Multiple bills failed to be enacted that could have legalized gambling in Alabama.
- Gov. Kay Ivey has generally been in favor of those bills.
- Race tracks in Alabama are looking to get a bill passed in the next legislative session.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Multiple online gambling bills recently failed to pass in Alabama, but efforts are not ceasing to regulate the common betting practices.
BIlls went through the Alabama Senate to legalize a lottery as well as casino-style gambling in Alabama, but they eventually were unable to become law. Now, the four race tracks in Alabama are teaming up to try to get gambling regulated and available in the Yellowhammer State.
The four have constituted themselves as the Alabama Track Owners Association, and they’re launching a media campaign to try to get gambling up and running in Alabama.
Alabama: Losing Potential Revenue
The focus of the campaign is on the money that Alabama is losing to surrounding states as players travel in order to place wagers.
The press release contains the following statement, which the organization describes as their “message to the citizens of Alabama”:
"Alabama is losing hundreds of millions of dollars in gaming and lottery revenue to Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida. This continues to happen year after year because the Alabama State Legislature has not approved the comprehensive gaming and lottery plan that would give the people of Alabama the chance to vote on a constitutional amendment. If the constitutional amendment approving the comprehensive gaming and lottery plan were to pass, the State of Alabama would generate hundreds of millions of dollars in additional tax revenue that could be used to fund Alabama priorities including broadband, healthcare, college & trade school scholarships, new job growth, workforce development, and new business opportunities."
Alabama Constitutional Amendments: Necessary For Gambling
In Alabama, any legalization or regulation of gambling at the state level would require a constitutional amendment. The Alabama state legislature can pass constitutional amendments, but they also need to be approved by the voters.
Effectively, if a bill passes the legislature and is signed by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, it will also require the approval of Alabama’s public in order to become law.
Thus, the media campaign by the tracks serves two purposes. First, it urges citizens to contact their representatives to get a bill passed. However, it also raises awareness of the issue generally, which could help in terms of getting people to the polls if the bill passes through the legislature.
Online gambling fans have much to look forward to in Alabama, but they will have to wait for at least the next legislative session, and then the next ballot, in order to see results.