Alabama Lawmakers Set to Have Another Crack at Gambling Legislation in 2022

by Ciaran McEneaney - Monday, December 20th, 2021 3:33

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Gambling in Alabama could be up for discussion once again in the upcoming legislative session as one lawmaker plans to introduce a constitutional amendment allowing a state lottery and the opening of several casinos in the state.

Republican Sen. Greg Albritton of Range has said that he plans to introduce a proposed amendment much like the one passed by the Alabama Senate earlier this year. That particular proposal failed to gain the support it needed in the House of Representatives, but Albritton has stated that he intends to push the gambling envelope once more.

Speaking of the proposed amendment, Albritton said:

“This simply needs to get off our plate, off the table. We need to deal with this and waiting another year is not going to help us. That would just be revenue thrown aside or thrown away. My goal is to find a path to get the votes that we need.”

However, there remains doubt among representatives that 2022 is a good time to push for legal gambling. With primaries coming in May of 2022, the time constraints on lawmakers may result in more pressing matters being dealt with first.

Republican Rep. Steve Clouse, chairman of the House general fund budget committee, said:

“I would be very surprised if it would pass in a regular session in an election year. By the time we get toward the end of March first of April people are going to be antsy to get out of there.”

According to Albritton’s proposal the people of Alabama would have the final say as an amendment would need to be approved through a statewide vote making 2022 the ideal time to discuss legal gambling.

Robbie McGhee, vice chairman of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians Tribal Council, said:

“I think this is the perfect opportunity (for Albritton) to say, ‘That I’m going to give the power to people to make this decision,’”

Gambling legislation has failed to get off the ground on several occasions in Alabama as lawmakers differ over who should have control over the market. Many feel that a compact that gives the Poarch Tribe a monopoly over gambling would be unfair to local entrepreneurs and business owners who should be allowed to take part in the industry.

Ciaran McEneaney

Ciaran has a decade of experience writing for some of the biggest names in the eSports, poker, and casino industries.