For weeks now, we have reported on the latest states looking to enter the online gaming industry within the United Sates. Both Pennsylvania and California have introduced legislation to regulate and license online poker within the state’s borders but have yet to pass legislation. Surprisingly, it has now been announced that the state of Alabama has seen new legislation proposed by Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh.
Del Marsh has proposed that Alabama offer a state lottery and casino gaming to help with the state budget issues. The legislation proposal is currently under review by lawyers, according to Governor Robert Bentley. The governor has given his opinion on the matter feels that gambling is not the solution for the budget needs.
Bentley believes that gambling will not prevent cuts in law enforcement as well as state agencies. Being from Alabama myself, we are also at risk of losing many state parks which provide entertainment year round from camping to fishing and hiking. Many residents of the state would like to see a lottery and casino gaming added in the state, especially if the revenues can be used to save such properties as the parks and recreation areas. Marsh is proposing that casinos be offered at the four dog tracks in the state, though Bentley is calling the proposal a way to bring Las Vegas-style gambling to Alabama.
Religious beliefs as well as moral influences have kept gambling from entering the state of Alabama. Bentley further stated in a report with Montgomery Advisor that he has never taking any gambling money from anyone so he can speak on the subject with ‘a pure heart’ because he has never been influenced by gambling or gambling money. The governor says that gambling will not solve the issue as the money would not be available by the 1st of October, which is when the funds are needed.
Bentley is focused on raising $541 million in new revenues and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians are trying to be part of the solution. The tribe would like to speak with the state to create a compact based on a gaming expansion or gaining exclusive gaming rights within the state. Bentley noted that lawyers of his administration have met with the tribe’s attorneys on the matter but gaming is not his focus to earn the revenues.
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