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Gambling legislation back before Alabama lawmakers

Published: Mar. 3, 2022 at 1:56 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 3, 2022 at 7:04 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama state Sen. Greg Albritton, R-Atmore, is making another effort to pass a gambling bill in the state, announcing two new bills Thursday.

One of the bills calls for a constitutional amendment while the other is designed to implement that amendment.

“This is an industry that needs to be regulated by the state,” Albritton explained. “This is an industry that is running rampant in the state of Alabama.”

Albritton said that much of his legislation mirrors previous work that died in the House during the 2021 legislative session.

He said the state needs to act on the matter now, noting “I’ve been writing and amending gaming bills since 2003. We need to get this done.”

The two bills would put the state in control of all gaming activities, the senator said. Under the proposed amendment, an official state lottery would be established, and it would be known as the Alabama Education Lottery.

The amendment would also establish the Alabama Education Lottery and Gambling Commission to supervise and regulate the state lottery, as well as allow casino-style games, sports betting, bingo, and raffles to be conducted subject to licensure by the commission.

The number of licensed casinos would be limited to five locations across the state. Two satellite casinos would offer a limited number of electronic gaming machines, Albritton confirmed.

The governor would be required to negotiate and execute a compact with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians under the proposed amendment.

A 20% tax would be imposed on the net gambling revenues for casinos and sports betting and provide for the distribution of gambling and lottery revenues.

The amendment would also provide a comprehensive process to ensure minority-owned business participation and repeal all local constitutional amendments relating to bingo.

The second bill would provide the Alabama Education Lottery and Gambling Commission powers and duties, as well as create a Gaming Enforcement Division to enforce gaming laws in the state.

Sen. Greg Albritton announced he has filed gambling legislation in the Senate. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

The commission would be required to begin collecting data regarding existing gaming activity operators within Alabama.

Alabama is one of just six states without a state lottery.

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