Alabama to become an ‘island’ without a lottery

Lottery proposal possible at next legislative session

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Mississippi will become one of the latest states to allow lottery scratch-off ticket sales in mid-November. This means all of Alabama’s surrounding states would have legalized some form of a lottery.

“We’re one of those islands,” said Steve Griffin, who is the speaker for the Alabama Silver Haired Legislature.

The group represents senior citizens across the state. Every year they suggest legislation to the Alabama State Legislature.

“We would like to participate in a multi-state lottery," Griffin said. “I think we’re passing up an opportunity to make money."

Sen. Greg Albritton, R-Range, said lawmakers have talked about a lottery proposal, but he is not sure whether there will be a proposal for the 2020 legislative session.

“The senate has passed two lottery bills in about four years time and we’ve sent them to the house, which properly and completely killed them," Albritton said.

Albritton sponsored one of the two lottery proposals during the 2019 legislative session. It would have legalized a paper-based lottery. The measure passed the senate but did not come up for an official vote in the house.

There was division over how much of the lottery proceeds would go to the general fund and education trust fund. There was also conflict over the type of lottery to be legalized.

“If there’s going to be a lottery bill or some type of gaming bill, that looks like it may need to start in the House so that they can fix the problem and then send it up to us to play with," Albritton said.

In order to legalize a lottery in Alabama, the state legislature would pass it and then it would go to the people for a vote.

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