Sen. Del Marsh’s new sports betting bill will head for the Alabama Senate on Tuesday next week to stand scrutiny from legislators before hopefully continuing to the House of Representatives.
Alabama to Examine Sports Betting Bill in Tuesday Senate Session
Alabama is readying to put Sen. Del Marsh’s sports betting proposal to a major test, with the Republican’s bill coming to stand scrutiny on the Senate floor on Tuesday next week. The bill proposes introducing a state lottery and hosting up to 7 casinos in the Yellowhammer State.
Should Del Marsh’s bill pass scrutiny from legislators, it would be tacked onto a ballot and up to voters in Alabama to decide if they should give the green light to introducing gambling in their state. The idea of a state lottery isn’t new, though, and it goes back to at least 1999 when the state residents narrowly shut it down.
However, Del Marsh feels more confident in the upcoming vote, and not least because states around the country have been looking for new sources of revenue to patch up ailing finances brought on by a devastating pandemic. Cited by the Associated Press, Del Marsh expressed his confidence about the proposal’s chances of passing legislative muster and resonating with voters next.
“The polling shows even among Republicans, the vast majority are ready to vote on this,” Del Marsh had to add. Bill details, though, remain undecided as last-minute patches are being applied, with no final version available.
Involving All Stakeholders in Alabama
Yet, the bill tries to strike a middle ground. It proposes a state lottery along with a casino run by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, looking to elicit interest from state, tribal and private stakeholders at the same time.
Del Marsh isn’t too worried about the upcoming vote either. The Alabama Senate seems like a shoo-in for the senator in his own account. “I have the votes,” and whether legislators agree on a five or seven-casino gambling plan, this is beyond the point he believes.
Out of the 35-seat Senate, Del Marsh claims to have collected as many as 21, enough to see his proposal through and back to the House. However, in Alabama, the Senate is usually more lenient on gambling issues.
Then, there is the House of Representatives, where things could get hairy. However, a global pandemic’s extraordinary conditions may incline more representatives to approve a bill that could potentially be tied with better overall economic prosperity.
Fears of gambling addiction have not been as widespread in Alabama, which is still an outlier by staying on the fringes as many other states have been pushing for the legalization of some form of gambling.
There have been a few controversies in Alabama’s most recent push for legalizing sports betting. For instance, small gambling operators have shared their concerns about how centering betting on five or seven casinos could have serious ramifications for the communities these same operators are built around.