The state of Alabama is one that is majorly lacking when it comes gambling opportunities. The state is one of the few that remains that does not take part in lottery gaming as well as other gambling activities. Over the past few weeks though, the state seems to be making headway in regards to offering the lottery, as Governor Robert Bentley introduced a lottery gambling bill.
A second measure was created by Senator Jim McClendon to see the state add lottery gaming as well as video lottery terminals at local dog race tracks. Both measures were under discussion in recent days and late last week one measure received enough votes in the Senate to advance to the House.
If the measure is able to move through the house, state voters would get the opportunity to decide if they want lottery gaming by November with a referendum placed on the ballot. Reportedly, it looked like the measure would not move forward, but this past Friday, lawmakers decided to approve a simpler version. A vote of 21 to 12 saw the legislation move forward.
The problem seemed to be the addition of video lottery terminals. The slot machine-like terminals were included in the legislation and would be added to the four state dog tracks. Some legislators did not want this to take place while others did not seem to be in favor of lottery or VLTs at all. Both plans were estimated to bring additional revenues to the state with the general lottery plan to bring in $225 million while the VLT addition was estimated at $400 million a year.
This is the closest the state has ever come to passing lottery legislation. The last time legislation was even remotely considered was in 1999 and that was almost two decades ago. Only five other states do not currently take part in lottery gaming. It will be interesting to see if lawmakers will be able to move ahead with lottery plans and Alabama will be able to provide residents with such gaming options. For years, money has went to neighboring states as residents wanted to take part in the lottery, but were unable to do so in their home state.
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