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Heidi Specter February 17, 2020 3 min read
Gambling Expansion and Policy Study Group Formed in Alabama
Sports betting continues to gain momentum across the United States as more states make moves that are meant to capitalize on the highly lucrative market. Alabama has been one of the states that have been trailing behind in the country’s sports betting industry.
The residents of the state seem to have discovered sports betting opportunities in neighboring states thus taking away a huge chunk of revenue from the state. Fortunately, it is likely that this will not be the case for too long as recent developments suggest that Alabama may finally be reading to expand its gambling industry.
Executive Order 719
Kay Ivey, the governor of Alabama has previously stated that she is willing to explore legislation related to sports betting. This is on condition that the vertical will be just as lucrative as some of the sports betting proponents have claimed.
On February 14, the governor announced that she had signed Executive Order 719 which will see to the formation of the Study Group for Gambling Policy. This study group will be tasked with gathering relevant information in order to assist the state’s residents and lawmakers in making informed decisions with regards to gambling expansion.
The Study Group for Gambling Policy which consists of 12 individuals will receive assistance from the citizens of Alabama when it comes to obtaining the relevant information.
“The specific data they gather will hopefully lead us all to making a better, more informed decision. Ultimately, I believe the final say belongs to the people of Alabama. As their governor, I want them to be fully informed of all the facts so that, together, we can make the best decision possible,” the governor said in a statement.
Hopefully, the study group will be able to present more accurate numbers which will give Alabama residents a clear picture of what they should expect.
When Are the Results Expected?
The study group expects to complete their mission within the next six months after which they will present their findings and recommendations. To the state. While it is unlikely that any gambling expansion progress will be made in the current legislative session, the prospects of expanded gambling are very promising. Other than bringing back revenue that goes to other states, Alabama will be able to use the tax revenue from expanded gambling to offset some of its expanses. A key area is going to be educational improvements in the state.
Despite playing a monumental role in the formation of the responsible gambling study group, Governor Ivey will not be a part of any study or framework related to the sports betting or other forms of gambling expansion. However, in the likely case that any gambling expansion bill passes, she will have to step in especially with regards to negotiating compacts with the tribal casino operators.