According to a statement of Senator Del Marsh, the Alabama Senate will vote on a revised bill proposal on casino and lottery activities. The new bill should be up for vote next Tuesday and it will give voters the right to choose whether to legalize casinos and lottery in the state of Alabama.
Even though the vote on the revised bill is scheduled for the upcoming week, Marsh shared that there are still some details that need to be considered before that. One of the important decisions that need to be made is to determine the number of casinos that will be regulated by the legislation.
The current version of the bill is proposing five casinos to be launched if the bill is passed. Despite that, Marsh is taking into consideration the public’s request for a casino in the Dothan area. This could mean that the original proposal for five casinos can be revised, allowing the launch of more casino locations in Alabama.
Even though Marsh is on board with the proposal for more than 5 casinos, he shared that Governor Kay Ivey is against that idea and prefers the number of legalized casinos to remain at five.
Both Casino Gaming and Lottery Have a Great Potential to be Legalized in Alabama
Marsh believes that while in the past, Republicans were disproving casino gaming, nowadays, there is stronger support for legalizing the casino industry in the state. Even though Marsh believes there will be enough votes to pass the bill in the Senate, he also acknowledges the importance of having the governor’s approval.
The five casino locations that are currently approved include the four greyhound racing track locations in the state. These are the Birmingham Race Course, Mobile Greyhound Park in Theodore, Greentrack in Eutaw, and Victoryland in Shorter. There is still a debate whether the fifth location predicted for a land-based casino in Alabama is going to be Jackson County or DeKalb County. If the bill is passed and casino gaming is legalized, all five casinos will be run by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.
While some Republicans are still on the fence about casino gaming, many seem to approve of the legalization of lottery. With thousands of Alabama residents traveling to other states to purchase lottery tickets, it is clear that lottery is very popular in the state. Despite that, Alabama is still one of the five states in America that have not decriminalized lottery.
One of the ongoing debates is how will the tax money from lottery and casino gaming be used. Marsh shared that it is considered for some of the tax revenue to be used to support mental health, rural hospitals, or scholarships.
If the revised bill on casino and lottery is passed next Tuesday, it will move to the House for further consideration. Alabamians will be able to vote on the legalization of casino gaming and lottery in the state in November, with the proviso that the bill was passed both by the Senate and the House.