Per an update in Alabama Today, an anti-gamibling coalition has made a full court press on Governor Kay Ivey to strike down any new gambling legislation for any 2022 special sessions. As referenced on this website before, the Alabama legislature did not approve any gaming bills during its normal legislative sessions. Also as noted on SBS, Gov. Ivey has expressed that her greatest regret of the 2022 Alabama Regular Session was that gambling legislation did not pass. However, this statement recently prompted an anti-gaming coalition to urge the Alabama governor to avoid bringing the gambling issue up during any special sessions later this year.
For this update report, SBS will go over the latest details regarding this development in Alabama and also some more fast facts about gaming in the state.
According to the report from Alabama Today, the anti-gaming coalition reported that Governor Ivey received a significant amount of donations in her re-election campaign from a pro-gaming organization. Per a release from the group, it has been reported that $1.5 million of “dark money” was contributed to Governor Ivey’s re-campaign for governor. This organization said it has been rumored that at least half of that money was donated by pro-gaming organizations. Moreover, in April of this year, WBRC in Alabama reported that Ivey’s largest donor, Get Families Back to Work, contributed two $750,000 donations to her campaign.
According to the same press release from the anti-gaming coalition, they also pointed out that PCI (Poarch Creek Indians) never stopped advertising or advocating for gambling expansion. This is interesting since the regular legislative sessions ended April 8th in Alabama. This has been a contentious battle for some time now as the Alabama Legislature and voters have rejected gambling at the ballot box, at least for now. Also some prominent figures in the state have taken an anti-gaming stance as well. For instance, former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Glenn Murdock had this to say about gaming in the state:
“Our founders understood how destructive gambling is for families and communities and included a blanket prohibition against it in Alabama’s constitution. As a legal and practical matter, if that clause is removed from our constitution to allow a lottery, it will open the door to all forms of Las Vegas-style gambling throughout Alabama.”
Following the 2022 regular legislative session, Governor Ivey had this to say about the rejection of the latest gambling bill.
“I was disappointed that they did not get the gambling bill passed,” Ivey said. “Not that I am so much for gambling, but I do think the people of Alabama ought to have the right to make that decision. I wish that had passed the legislature so that people could vote it up or down in November.”
While it would appear the Governor Ivey is still a big proponent of gaming’s future in the state, it remains to be seen if she can get a bill across the finish line. Per the article in Alabama Today, the anti-group has remained firm in calling on Ivey to resist pressure from big-money donors and gamlbing operators who want gaming to have widespread legalization in the state.
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