Lottery bill passes in Alabama Senate

Lottery bill passes 21-12 in Senate

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - By a vote of 21-12, the Alabama Senate has approved a lottery bill. Now, the legislation moves to the Alabama House for consideration.

Thursday’s narrow passage (it needed 21 votes to pass) comes just days after the legislation got the green light to move out of the Senate Tourism and Marketing Committee by a slim, 6-5 margin.

Sen. Greg Albritton, R-Atmore, is the sponsor of the bill that would legalize a paper-based lottery.

The bill does not allow for video lottery terminals, casino-style gaming, or slot machines. It defines video lottery terminals as any electronic interactive game, machine, or device with a video screen and button, keys and a keyboard.

An amendment was added earlier this week that would make all forms of bingo and pari-mutuel wagering excluded from the definition of video lottery terminal.

According to Albritton’s bill, the money from the lottery would first go toward administering and operating the Alabama lottery. The leftover money would then go to the Alabama Trust Fund to repay transfers made to the State General Fund in the fiscal years 2013, 2014, and 2015. The bill states that half of the remaining money goes into the Alabama Trust Fund. The rest goes into the state General Fund.

If the legislature approves the lottery bill, it will go before the people in a statewide vote on March 3, 2020. How Alabamians would vote is up for debate. Twenty years ago when it last made it onto a ballot, voters said “No” by a vote of 54 percent to 46 percent.

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