Alabama Might be On the Verge of Legalising Several Forms of Gambling

A bill that can finally allow the start of several gambling forms has been proposed in the House of Representatives in Alabama. This marks the first attempt at gambling legalisation in the state since 1999 when efforts to commence a lottery were overthrown. 

The Committee is Set to Decide Very Soon

Andy Whitt, the leader of the group that created the legislation and a Republican Representative, noted that he expects the committee to give their decision during this week. If the bill is approved, it will proceed towards voting in the House. However, both parties need to support it in order for it to be successful. 

Supporters of the bill hope that the legislation will legalize a state lottery, offline and online sports betting as well as the establishment of up to ten casinos in the region. The casinos would feature slots and table games.

According to the bill, three of those casinos will be on tribal land. They will be located at Poarch Band of Creek Indians’ bingo operations sites in Montgomery, Atmore and Wetumpka. One licence is set to be issued to Poarch Creeks and six casinos will be located in Mobile, Jefferson, Macon, Greene, Houston and Lowndes counties. 

Two more bills also await. One of those will be submitted to the Alabama Constitution and the other one will detail the casino operations. 

Gambling Revenue Tax Will be 24% 

The proposal explains that gambling tax revenue will be 24%. Sports betting revenue will be 17%. Expectations state that the taxes could bring up to $800 million every year. The state would use this money to establish and maintain a Gaming Trust Fund and a Lottery for Education Fund. Legislators would vote on how to use the money every year.

Moreover, all gambling operations in the state will be regulated by the Alabama Gaming Commission. This commission will also licence entities and will have nine board members and a Gaming Enforcement Division.

Lottery will be under the wing of the Alabama Lottery Corporation. This corporation will have a board of seven members. 

All funds from gambling tax will primarily towards education. This includes scholarships for high schools, technical schools, local schools and various programs at universities. Healthcare programs for low-income residents are also in the mix. The remaining funds will primarily go towards infrastructure, specifically roads and bridges. 

Online Casinos Could Be Legalized Down the Road

After the successful launch of sports betting and gambling, legislators would start considering legal online casinos. 

At the moment, only six states regulate online gambling – Connecticut, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Michigan, Delaware and New Jersey. Wyoming is also rumoured to legalize these activities shortly, but nothing is certain.  

The massive legalization of both online casinos and online sports betting is the result of the PASPA overthrow in 2018. 

After the US Supreme Court deemed PASPA unconstitutional, states were given the right to regulate these industries however they pleased. Online sports betting had a much faster expansion. It is currently legal in over 30 states. 

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