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Alabama lawmakers eye gambling compromise as legislative session nears its end

The Alabama Legislature on Tuesday proposed a gaming compromise that would license the state lottery and multiple establishments with electronic gambling machines. But the bill faces an uncertain outlook while Congress is out of session.

Lawmakers aim to bring the issue to a statewide vote this August, and a conference committee approved two proposed bills. Lawmakers in the Alabama House and Senate could vote on the bill as early as Tuesday night. Three-fifths of lawmakers would be required to approve a proposed change to Alabama’s constitution that would allow gambling. If passed, a statewide vote would be held on August 20th.

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“I don’t know. The vote is getting closer,” Republican Sen. Gregg said. Conference Commissioner Albritton spoke about the bill’s chances of passing in the Senate. “It’s probably close in the House as well.”

Exterior view of the Alabama State Capitol on March 22, 2020 in Montgomery, Alabama. (Taylor Hill/Getty Images)

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Chris Blackshear, said the proposal would authorize the state lottery and allow “electronic games of chance,” but not table games at seven county venues. Stated. The locations will be in dog tracks in Macon, Jefferson, Greene and Mobile counties, as well as locations in Lowndes and Houston counties. He said that would also require the governor to enter into an agreement with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

Blackshear said he removed language authorizing sports betting.

The bill has been stalled since March, when senators scaled back a sweeping plan passed by the House that would have allowed up to 10 casinos with lottery, sports betting and table games. Disagreements include the referendum’s date, the number of casinos and whether sports betting should be allowed.

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the proposal first. Pro-Tem Senate President Greg Reed said the Senate could consider the bill on Tuesday night, but first they need to wait and see what happens in the House.


Lawmakers are aiming for the first referendum on gambling in 25 years. Voters in 1999 rejected a lottery proposed by then-Gov. Don Siegelman.