Alabama senators could vote on a lottery bill this week, as some lawmakers are hoping to legalize lottery with or without casinos.
Alabama Could Have a State Lottery without Casinos
Alabama senators could vote on a lottery bill this week with our without casinos. Lawmakers hope to legalize lottery in the state. Jim McClendon of Springville said he hopes that the Senate would allow his bill to authorize lottery and start selling tickets at stores, kiosks, and via a phone app.
Last month, the Senate Tourism Committee approved the bill, but negotiations, whether or not to include casinos, are still ongoing. A proposal to add 10 casinos, along with a state lottery, fell short by 2 votes in the state Senate. The gambling bill proposed by Sen. Del Marsh included gambling expansion in the state and building casinos in several counties, including a bingo facility in Houston Country.
According to McClendon, the lottery is not dead. He said that he intends to bring lottery alone up for a vote, without casinos, and see if it has support. In his opinion, voters would be more interested in a lottery. At least, that is the case in his district, according to him. In his bill, the lottery revenue divides into two equal parts. Although there is no specific purpose for the money, one part of it would go towards the general budgets and the other to the state education.
Alabama’s Residents Haven’t Voted on a Lottery since 1999
The gambling bill has to be approved by 3/5 of the lawmakers and receive the majority of votes by state residents. Alabama residents rejected the state lottery proposed by Gov. Don Siegelman in 1999, and they haven’t voted on the matter since then. According to lawmakers, Alabamians would be more open to a state lottery this time around.
Alabama is one of the 5 states in the country that don’t have a state lottery yet. In the past few years, a state lottery has been one of the main topics for Alabama. All of Alabama’s neighboring states have lotteries, and lawmakers have considered proposals in the past 5 years, but the bills didn’t go through due to gambling opposition.
Gov. Kay Ivey Is Determined to See the Matter Closed
Last year Gov. Kay Ivey appointed a group to gather information on how gambling expansion would impact the state. McClendon stated that Ivey intends to meet with him and other lawmakers on Tuesday.
Gina Maiola, a spokeswoman for Ivey, said, “Gov. Ivey is actively having conversations with the Legislature and others to determine our next steps.” She said, that Alabama’s residents want to vote on the issue, and Gov. Ivey intends to make that happen.