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Fiona Simmons January 17, 2024 2 min read
Alabama Lawmakers Want to Crack Down on Illegal Gambling
House Speaker Ledbetter supports a new bill that would shut 95% of all the illegal gambling in the state down
Alabama’s new legislative session is just around the corner, sparking theories about whether lawmakers will try to get gambling legalized. However, one lawmaker is focusing his efforts elsewhere, opting to instead push for a shutdown of illegal gambling operations.
For reference, gambling in Alabama is currently prohibited by the state’s constitution. This means that even if a bill to legalize gambling is approved, it would ultimately be up to the voters to decide whether Alabama gambling will become a reality or not.
As the legislative session approaches, many speculate that a gambling bill may be on the table.
In any case, House Speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter is just as concerned about the state’s illegal gambling problems. He recently commented on the matter, telling local news outlets that he would 100% support an intensification of the efforts against illegal gambling. Ledbetter added that a committee he formed to study gambling is gearing up to introduce a bill that targets illegal gambling in The Heart of Dixie.
While this bill is yet to become a reality, Ledbetter explained that illegal gambling is certainly something Alabama should take care of, considering the unlicensed operations’ apparent ties to organized crime.
Ledbetter teased that, if passed, the bill of his committee would “shut 95% of everything down.” He attributed last year’s inactivity to the many freshman lawmakers but added that the state really needs to do something to stop illegal gambling in 2024.
Ledbetter Is an Avid Supporter of Legal Gambling
For reference, Ledbetter has been an avid supporter of the regulation of gambling in Alabama. He has advocated for legalized gambling since 2021, arguing that many people would like the state to have a legal industry.
Ledbetter argued that many Alabamans already play in neighboring states or with offshore websites. Some of them even visit one of the state’s illegal gambling venues that Ledbetter is so hellbent on tearing down.
Because of that, the Speaker believes that the state is missing out on a lot of tax money that has the potential to benefit the local economy, bolster public education and help communities in need.
The lack of legal gambling, Ledbetter argues, channels more and more people toward illegal sites each year, exacerbating the issue.