PSA calls on Alabama lawmakers to address gambling

Published: Sep. 3, 2021 at 6:53 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Gambling has been a hot topic in Alabama for years. Despite several attempts, Alabama lawmakers failed to pass a gambling proposal during this year’s legislative session. Now there’s a new public service announcement from the Alabama Track Owners Association. The goal is to get more people to talk about gambling.

“We started appealing directly to the people, you know, to contact our legislators and tell them that we want them to get this comprehensive gaming and lottery plan done now,” said Robert Kennedy Jr., a spokesperson for the Alabama Track Owners Association.

Gov. Kay Ivey’s commission on gaming estimates Alabama misses out on $700 million by not allowing gambling in the state.

The state lawmakers were at a standstill over gambling at end of the last legislative session. There’s a lot of division over what gambling proposal lawmakers should pass. Lawmakers were split on whether to allow a lottery and casino gaming or just a lottery. There’s also division over where that gambling money should go.

Alabama track association is now betting on the public to get lawmakers to get a done deal done.

House Speaker Mac McCutcheon said he doesn’t know of any lawmakers that have gambling at top of mind right now.

“An issue that is that controversial and has so much subject material in it, for a special session, it would not have time to get any traction,” McCutcheon said.

In the past, the governor’s office said the governor does not have any plans to call a special session on gambling. She would need to see lawmakers with a plan and an agreement for her to consider that option.

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