HomeGambling IndustryAlabama pulls the plug on gambling legalization

Alabama pulls the plug on gambling legalization

3 min. read
Nope sign

Alabama came this close and yet completely missed the mark on gambling legalization in the current legislative session, after the State Senate pulled the plug on House Bill 151 and House Bill 152 which had passed the lower chamber of the Alabama Legislature with a vast majority.

Both bills were propelled into the higher chamber, but didn’t get an actual floor vote, after Sen. Greg Albritton, who sponsored the bills in the Senate, reneged on a promise to back the measure, so even if the bills had made it to the floor, they would have most likely been shut down. His vote proved crucial as his refusal to back the measures left them short of a vote – 20 out of the needed 21.

Had Sen. Albriton voted yes, Alabama would be enjoying a legalized gambling landscape and industry for the most part. The bills backer, Rep. Chris Blackshear has accepted the draft laws’ defeat in the higher chamber and thanked his Republican and Democratic colleagues for coming together on the issue and acting together to pass a law that the legislature saw as favorable to the state’s public purse.

The bills would have allowed Alabama to feature electronic games of chance and also introduced an educational lottery available in physical medium only. A total of seven locations would have been available for gambling as per the bill’s proposals.

The plan to legalize gambling in the state has not been overly ambitious. For example, table, card, dice, and dealer games would have been out of the question in any possible configuration. Sports betting, which was originally part of the plan, had to be given up as a consensus to more hardline lawmakers who eyed the matter with suspicion and refused to give their vote to push forward with gambling.

Alabama in general is one of the most gung-ho states when it comes to gambling legalization and has repeatedly resisted the urge to work out gambling laws that enable locals to gamble legally within the confines of the state. One of the bills wanted to also ensure that, apart from gambling legalization, Alabama would also take special care to uproot illegal gambling. The state must wait for another legislative session before a meaningful change is passed.

Image credit: Unsplash.com

14 May 2024
3 min. read
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