A new Alabama bill suggests the creation of eight casinos and a state lottery. Will this bill have more success than the ones before it?
It’s Time Alabama Got in the Game
The bill was introduced on March 3 and seeks to capitalize on the growing gambling industry in the United States. One of the primary goals of the bill is to form a state lottery a part of whose proceeds will go to fund state education and scholarships.
Additionally, eight casinos will be allowed to offer table games. Four of them will be created at four of Alabama’s pre-existing dog tracks. These include the Birmingham Race Course in Jefferson County, Greenetrack in Greene County, the Mobile County Greyhound Racing facility in Mobile County, and VictoryLand in Macon County. According to the bill, the licenses for those casinos will be auctioned. However, the owners of the respective dog tracks will be allowed to make a final bid for the license.
Two small casinos are also envisioned by the bill – it proposes to create one in Houston County and one in Lowndes County. The two will be allowed to have up to 300 slot machines.
Another casino will be opened at the Poarch Band of Creek Indians territory. The bill proposes DeKalb County or Jackson County as one of the possible locations. The gambling law will furthermore allow the tribal nation to offer table games at its venues.
The Bill is Racing against Time
Senator Greg Albritton spoke on the matter, supporting the bill. He said that it’s finally time for Alabama to get in the game and that the state shouldn’t miss out on the multi-million dollar gambling industry.
Albritton, a Republican by allegiance, added that the bill is fighting against time and that actions should be taken quickly. He warned that the state has nothing to gain from waiting for another year. Because of this, he urged the committee to vote on the proposal on Tuesday since there are only 12 meeting days remaining in the legislative session.
Last year another similar bill was introduced but it couldn’t get acted on in a timely manner.
There are some concerns about the bill coming from the Democratic Party. Representative Kelvin Lawrence argued that the bill might hurt the electronic bingo businesses in Lowndes Country as many people would prefer the casino. He noted that the bill would have a disastrous effect on those businesses and may lead to their closure.
Currently, Alabama is one of the five states that don’t even have a state lottery. Much can change if the current bill passes. Should lawmakers approve it, it will be voted by the people in November.