Alabamans are likely to get another opportunity to vote on introducing casinos and a lottery in the state in 2024. But, it is uncertain whether they will change their mind on the ballot as time passes if some betting expansion bills pass in the other legislative term.
Alabama Senator Greg Albritton, who pushed the expansion of gambling in the last session has promised to try again in 2023. But it is too early to determine if the odds will be better next year compared to this year.
The Alabama Betting Expansion Bill
Senator Albritton is unmoved by the gambling expansion bill’s failure to pass this year. Maddie Biertempfel from WHNT interviewed him about the legislation. Albritton expressed his desire to take another shot in the next legislative session.
He stated that he will do his best next year and he is partnering with House members to liaise with Governor Kay Ivey’s office to know their current position and reach a consensus. Albritton’s proposals didn’t reach the governor and the Alabama House of Representatives in the last session as it failed on the Senate floor.
Even so, Albritton’s proposal wasn’t the only betting expansion bill that was discussed in the term. He is the first person to claim that he will try again next year as he had expansive proposals.
Alabama Lottery, Sports Gambling, and Casinos
Albritton had a two-tiered package of bills. One of his proposals was to re-write Alabama’s Constitution to allow certain forms of betting. The other proposed amendment was a regulatory bill which would have started being implemented immediately after Alabamans approved the regulation this fall.
The two-tiered pack would have prompted Alabama to create a tribal casinos’ gaming compact with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. Still, it would have formed a clear licensing process for all local commercial casinos, created a state lottery, and allowed online sports gambling.
Albritton hasn’t committed to which elements will be in his next term’s proposal. Some people claim that he is currently evaluating the terms that have huge support now and he will base his next proposals on them. Unfortunately, the opposing forces that dropped his bills in 2022 might not change in the upcoming legislative term.
Should Senator Albritton Consider the Ides of March?
Alabama will start its next legislative session on the first Tuesday in March 2023. The term is likely to have several advantages like having newly elected lawmakers who won’t focus on seeking re-election soon.
The senator dismissed some rumors that this year’s election politics caused his bills to fail in the Senate. But they might face similar obstacles in 2023.
Lawmakers opposed certain electronic bingo hall companies in Alabama and the senator’s bill highlighted particular locations suitable for commercial casinos. Other bingo hall operators opposed his bill claiming that it was selecting winners and losers. They said that the proposals should have an open bidding process for casino licenses and sites.
The opposition might continue next year if Albritton’s bills have the same clauses. Besides, Ivey is seeking re-election late this year and some of her opponents aren’t interested in expanding gambling in Alabama.
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