Alabama set for another push to legalize gambling in 2022

Updated June 30, 2022
Updated June 30, 2022By Dean Etheridge

Plans are afoot for another push to legalize betting in the state of Alabama in 2022. 

In 2021 there were ambitious – to say the least – plans to create a lottery, legalize sports betting, and create six new casinos in the state. 

Remarkably, you might say with a hint of irony, they passed in the Senate. But more unsurprisingly, it was held up in the House of Representatives.

The next session starts in January 2022, when lawmakers are expected to be asked to consider at the very least a lottery, and casino legislation. 

The goal for the lottery and casino legislation is to have it put to a public vote in November 2022. 

The Current Situation with Gambling in Alabama

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The state’s leaders seem like some of the most conservative in the country. And they are fighting hard to keep – what they perceive to be the evils of – gambling out of their jurisdiction.

An example of just how conservative the state is can be taken by the fact they don’t even have a state lottery.

Has the Alabama Lottery plan been Hijacked? 

In the main, legislators wish for Alabama to have a lottery. This has been something that has been mooted for years now.

The bill that was initiated in 2021 included plans for a state lottery, but also included were the six casinos and plans to legalize sports betting.

You could be forgiven for thinking that the plans for the lottery would have a great chance of succeeding if the casinos and sports betting part of the bill were left out.

But would the conservative members of the Alabaman lawmakers even accept a lottery? Who knows!

Anyway, with primaries coming up in May 2022, there will be limited time to get any additional legislation through. 

This prompted Republican representative Steve Clouse to say “I would be very surprised if it would pass in a regular session in an election year.” 

On the flip side to the gloomy out from Clouse, there were more promising remarks from Republican Senator, Greg Albritton.

Albritton is quoted as saying, “this simply needs to get off our plate, off the table. We need to deal with this and waiting another year is not going to help us. That would just be revenue thrown aside or thrown away.” 

Albritton is the man who is planning a constitutional amendment that would see a state lottery created. Alongside a compact (deal) with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians with regard to casinos.

His amendment is also said to include an unknown number of other gambling sites – whatever that is!

As positive as the remarks from Albritton – a clear proponent of statewide gambling – are, the ambiguity of the other unknown gambling sites does little to encourage support from those of a suspicious nature.

Other Issues Facing State Lottery and Gambling Proponents 

Supporters of the legalizing of sports betting, lotteries, casinos, etc, must at times be tearing their hair out!

It’s not helpful when what becomes more of a turf war escalates over who is entitled to what.

Having conservative opponents to overcome is a big enough hurdle. But when the supporters of legalizing betting can’t even agree, it just makes it even harder to get legislation through.

State dog track owners and electronic bingo halls have argued that the aforementioned Poarch Band of Creek Indians should not have the lion’s share of all the potential licenses.

If the groups attempting to get the legislation passed can’t come together and promote a united front, then what chance have they got.

They are making the jobs of opponents of the bill far easier. 

The original bill that got past the Senate earlier this year did in fact give some of the dog tracks and electronic bingo halls a good chance of obtaining some of the casino licenses.

But it’s unclear how the amended bill may affect those stakeholders at this time.

Warring parties are also no good for trying to attract some of the best sports betting sites to invest in the project either. 

No major Sports Franchises is a Further Hindrance

With the lack of household name sporting franchises in the city, major brands might not wish to invest. They don’t need putting off any more than they may already be.

The state of Alabama typifies the complexities of legalizing betting in the USA.

There is the Senate and House of Representatives to get through, just to get a bill on the ballot paper.

Then you have to win the ballot, and even then you’re not home and dry. As we’ve seen in Illinois, getting the state to legalize it can be just a stepping stone.

It’s taken a further two years for the city of Chicago to take advantage of the law change. Their city council was reluctant to release the shackles, despite the state legalizing certain aspects of gambling in 2019.

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About the Author

Dean Etheridge
Dean Etheridge

Dean Etheridge has over ten years of writing experience in the world of sports betting. Starting out as a hobby on his own soccer betting website, Dean has now seen his picks published across various affiliate sites along with The Sun and TalkSPORT where he writes regular Premier League and Champions League betting tips. Combining his extensive knowledge and experience with his British humor and wit, Dean has developed into a trusted voice within the sports betting industry. Although Dean's preferred areas of focus are the English Premier League and cricket, his extensive sports knowledge enables him to tackle nearly any sport. Gone are the days of traveling the world to witness events like FIFA World Cups and Ashes cricket, as Dean now prefers the comfort of his own home while enjoying sports.

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