MONTGOMERY, Ala. – On Tuesday night, the Alabama Senate passed a gaming bill that includes sports betting. Senate Bill 310 had its third reading in the Senate where the measure passed by a vote of 23-9. The bill will now move forward to the House of Representatives for consideration. The proposal that was spearhead by Senator Del Marsh seeks to open up an Alabama Education Lottery, bingo games, sports betting, and casino gaming in the Heart of Dixie.
Senate Bill 310 & Alabama
Alabama is a very conservative state when it comes to the topic of gambling and an expansion of the industry. In fact, any addition to the gaming market requires a constitutional amendment in the state, which means that the public would need to vote on the issue first before it could become a regulated industry.
Senate Bill 310 in itself is a tall order for Alabama and the fact that the Senate granted it passage says a lot about how the views of lawmakers are changing on gambling. Rather than ask for just one gaming market, this proposal is an all-inclusive gaming bill to regulate all markets in one fell swoop.
Alabama sports betting is something that residents have wanted for quite some time. The state is home to powerhouse collegiate sports programs with diehard fans. Betting on the games has been happening for years but without a regulated market in Alabama, sports bettors go elsewhere to get action in on the games and this has zero benefits to the economy of the Heart of Dixie.
Mobile sportsbooks and access to online gaming with lottery games and casino games have been written within the current draft of the bill. Retail locations are also part of the package. When it comes to wagering on sports, the nation as a whole has seen a landslide of their bets being done with mobile applications when gamblers are given the option to do so.
What’s On The Horizon For Alabama?
Senate Bill 310 will now go before the House of Representatives for approval before it can be sent to Governor Kay Ivey for her to either sign it into law or veto it. The Governor has been back and forth on the issue of gambling. But passing this measure would simply put the topic on the November 2022 ballot for constituents to have a say on the matter.
“Every time I go back to my district, the message is clear: people want to have the right to vote on a state lottery and gaming,” said State Senator Jim McClendon (R-Springville.) “I am hopeful about the potential of getting this Constitutional Amendment in front of Alabamians so that they have a chance to make the final call on this critical decision for the future of our state.”
Under this proposal, Alabama is projected to see anywhere from $510-$710 million annually in revenue. Regulated sports betting would bring in a small percentage of that according to studies. The Alabama Legislature will adjourn on May 30.
No date has been placed on the calendar for when Senate Bill 310 will be heard in the House. However, Alabamians may be seeing the topic of gambling on their November 2022 ballots, should the bill continue its favorable trajectory as lawmakers believe it will.
This article is a reprint from LegalSportsBetting.com. To view the original story and comment, click here.