After nearly two decades since the last attempt, Alabama may soon see the legalization of sports betting, a state lottery, and up to ten new casinos. The proposal for this legalization is expected to undergo voting this week, allowing the state’s residents to have a say in the matter during the general election in November.
The supporters of the legislation are hopeful that it will pave the way for the establishment of a state lottery, as well as both offline and online sports betting. Additionally, plans include the opening of up to ten new casinos offering table games and slot machines. The legislation consists of two more bills, one of which will be submitted to the Alabama Constitution and is essential for legalizing gambling in the state, while the other will cover the operational details and locations of the casinos.
The proposed taxes on gaming revenue are set at 24%, with an additional 17% on revenue generated from sports betting. While the official revenue expectations are not yet known, supporters believe that the state could earn more than $800 million annually. This revenue would be allocated to two new funds – a Lottery for Education Fund and a Gaming Trust Fund, with the legislators having the authority to decide how these funds will be utilized.
In terms of education, the funds will be used to support scholarships for two-year college and technical schools, as well as local schools and research programs at universities. Moreover, the funds will also contribute to rural healthcare programs, infrastructure like roads and bridges, and state parks.
The gambling operations in the state will be regulated by the Alabama Gaming Commission, a new agency responsible for issuing licenses and regulating all gambling activities. This commission will consist of nine members and will also include a Gaming Enforcement Division. Additionally, a board of seven members will oversee the Alabama Lottery Corporation.
The legislation has been driven by a group led by Republican Representative Andy Whitt, who expects the committee to make a decision this week, with hopes for bipartisan support in the House for its approval. If it passes, the state could see a significant shift in its gambling landscape, providing new opportunities for revenue generation and community development.