May 10, 2024 2 min read

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Alabama Legislature Fails to Pass Gambling Bills as Session Concludes

Although the gambling bills made significant strides by passing the Alabama House on April 30, their momentum was abruptly halted by the Senate

May 9 marked the end of the legislative session in the state of Alabama and, consequently, the failure of the highly controversial gambling bills, which the Senate did not pass. 

Alabama’s Gambling Bills Stalled After House Approval

Despite the gambling bills’ successful passage at the Alabama House on April 30, their positive progress was stopped short by the Senate not even reaching the Senate floor for a vote. 

To some extent, the bills’ demise was due to Sen. Greg Albritton last-minute change of mind. He supported the bills initially, however, he distanced himself from the legislation eventually when it reached the Senate, leaving the bills short of the necessary votes.

Notably the bills did not include the legalization of sports betting but facilitated the launch of a state education lottery, authorization of electronic games of chance, and regulation of traditional raffles and bingo.

The failed passage of the bills in the Senate means yet another setback for the already prolonged debate over gaming expansion in Alabama. The efforts of introducing comprehensive gambling legislation met serious resistance, which is very similar to the futile attempts to legalize gambling in Alabama in 1999.

House Lawmakers Decry Senate Inaction, Highlighting Lost Revenue Opportunities

Following the end of the Senate session, House lawmakers voiced their frustration regarding the Senate’s indecisiveness. Some of the proponents of the gambling bills such as Rep. Chris Blackshear expressed discontent as the failed passage of the legislation means yet another lost opportunity to secure additional revenue for critical sectors such as education and infrastructure, reported local media outlet Al.com.

Gov. Kay Ivey also echoed Blackshear’s sentiment and expressed disappointment over the Senate’s failure to act. She further added that every year the Senate keeps postponing gambling legislation.

Rep. Thomas Jackson, D-Thomasville, on the other hand, pointed out that Alabama residents will now keep going to neighboring states to buy lottery tickets and support the budgets of Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee. 

On a recent visit to Alabama, Donald Trump Jr. also used the opportunity to criticize the Alabama Senate for not passing the gambling bills and allowing state residents to vote on the introduction of a state lottery. Trump Jr. questioned why state lawmakers decided to direct funds toward neighboring states instead of keeping them in Alabama. Gov. Kay advocated for the launch of a state lottery emphasizing the importance of letting residents decide.

Author

Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

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