Alabama Sports Betting Bills Pass In House, Now Heads To Senate

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Written By Giovanni Shorter | Last Updated
Alabama Sports Betting Bills

The Alabama House of Representatives met this week to discuss two gambling bills that would also launch sports betting. Both measures were passed in the House and are now advanced to the Senate. The bills would call for a constitutional amendment to bring the best sports betting sites and casino gambling to the Yellowhammer State. If the measures pass in the Senate, sports betting would be put to a state vote in November.

Alabama Sports Betting Making Progress

The House voted favorably on the two measures after hours of deliberation. Both HB 151 and HB 152 were able to garner enough votes to advance out of the House. The measures work in tandem to expand gambling in the Heart of Dixie.

With the measures, both retail sportsbooks and online sports betting will be approved. Up to seven local casinos would also be able to launch, as well as a state lottery. Tax revenue from the gambling markets would work to support education.

Sportsbooks will see a 17% tax rate on net gaming revenue, while casinos will see a tax rate of 24%. Experts estimate approximately $935.6 million to $1.214 billion annually can come from the combined gaming market.

Lawmakers Believe Gambling Is Already Taking Place

During the deliberation phase, many lawmakers gave their pros and cons to the expanded gambling market. One consistent statement made among those in favor of the market is that gambling is already ongoing in Alabama through illegal means.

“We have gambling going on in Alabama today,” said Chris Blackshear, House Rep. “We have illegal sportsbooks, gambling halls, casinos and more. It’s not capped, it’s not controlled, or taxed in any way whatsoever.”

The bill’s main sponsor, Rep. Andy Whitt, explained that illegal gambling in Georgia is an ongoing thing that must be dealt with.

“What I’ve seen across the state as I’ve toured your districts is an absolute disaster, and it should make every legislator in here feel ashamed that this is allowed in the state of Alabama, and it’s currently going on today in, I guarantee, all 67 counties,” said Whitt. “It’s time that we run the bad actors out of the state of Alabama for good.”

By creating the Gaming Enforcement Division and regulating gambling, Alabama lawmakers hope to combat and replace the illegal market. The measures now head to the Senate, where the hopes for the future of the measures lie. Will the Senate be favorable towards the gambling bills?