Updated January 28, 2024By Chris Boline
A state that has been at the gambling crossroads for some time, the 2024 Alabama political session is set to feature some interesting potential gambling updates. With the session less than two weeks, as noted in a recent report, a gambling bill backed by key lawmakers will be considered in the Alabama House. Moreover, the article notes that there has been feedback from lawmakers in both the Alabama House and Senate to discuss how they feel about the proposed legislation. Many lawmakers who may be on the fence about gambling have said this year’s gambling bill is more palatable than those in years past. Lawmakers quoted in this report have also said they plan to introduce a bill that will include Class III casino gaming, a state lottery, sportsbook gaming, and the creation of an Alabama Gaming Commission.
In this article, SBS will be going over the latest gaming updates coming from Alabama along with more notes about gambling in the Cotton State.
Proposed gaming taxes will help fund Alabama’s education
As noted in the same article, the taxes and fees from this bill would be split between the education budget and the general fund budget. Moreover, lottery funds would be directed to the education budget, and the casino and sportsbook revenues would benefit the state’s general fund budget. However, there are of course still divided sentiments in Alabama about the impact gambling could have on the state’s population.
Specifically, lawmakers who have said they will not support the bill in any form, believe that if gambling were legalized in Alabama, it would bring in more white-collar crime. Moreover, the potential for corruption or the lawmaker simply feeling that their district does not support gambling were also cited as negative factors for betting in the state. As noted in the article, other politicians were quoted as saying they had promised their constituents during their previous elections that they would not support gambling legislation.
Moreover, one anonymous lawmaker commented in the article, “I have been openly a no-vote for over 20 years and will continue to be.” In an interesting development, some lawmakers believe that the lottery bill should be separate legislation from the casino and sports gambling portions. Others, however, are willing to accept a comprehensive package but feel that certain details will need to change and want more control over how the revenue is spent. Those changes mentioned by lawmakers who are on the fence but open to a comprehensive gambling bill have varied.
While some want more for education, others want more for the general fund. As noted in the article, another issue Republican lawmakers have brought up is that if the bill does pass, then putting the constitutional amendment on the November ballot could sway the outcome of that election in favor of the Democratic nominee.
Politicians are split on gaming tax revenue breakdown
As referenced in another report, lawmakers who said they are okay with the current revenue breakdown between the education and general funds are split. More specifically this encompasses those wanting earmarks for the revenue and others who do not wish to have any earmarks. The earmark lawmakers have mentioned depends on the individual lawmakers, the location of their district, and how they can best benefit their constituents. The most mentioned are roads and bridges, a college fund for students to attend in-state universities or trade schools, infrastructure for K-12 schools, and more funding for local items.
As noted in the same report, lawmakers and statehouse insiders cited in the report said that there will be multiple hurdles in the House to get to the required 60% majority, but the bill is in a better position in that chamber. However, if the bill makes it to the Alabama Senate, they believe it will have its largest hurdle there, and finding the required 60% (21 votes) to pass the constitutional amendments will become more difficult. If the constitutional amendment does pass, it will go to the voters of Alabama to decide.
The last time gaming legislation was on the ballot in Alabama was in 1999, and it failed 54% to 46% with nearly a 50% turnout of registered voters participating in the vote. As referenced in the article, while few lawmakers would come out and say that, at this point, they will agree to support the legislation, those on the fence have said that they will decide once the bill is released and what, if any, changes are made before the vote. The 2024 Alabama legislative session is set to begin on February 6th.
Even more info and notes about Alabama wagering
Once you are all dialed in regarding the latest gaming news coming from the Cotton State, SBS has your back with a wide variety of information to keep the good times going. Of course, for even more information on the topic at hand, the sports betting in Alabama guide is your top-tier resource for all kinds of Alabama-related gaming news and updates. On a separate note, if you are interested in diversifying your payment options, make sure to check out the payment methods breakdown. Here you can find all kinds of options for deposits and withdrawals from cryptocurrencies to more traditional banking methods. Finally, for those looking for some higher stakes wagering, look no further than our VIP sports betting sites rundown which goes over the perks of VIP wagering and how you can get in on the action.
About the Author
As a devout aficionado of sports, Chris Boline has carved a career within the athletic realm. A skilled scribe, he boasts a decade-long portfolio that encompasses coverage of the NBA G League, the Los Angeles Chargers, football in the Mountain West Conference, and basketball.
Beyond his professional pursuits, Chris is deeply invested in his community and dedicates his leisure hours to serving on boards, collaborating with community organizations, and cherishing the company of loved ones.
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