- The bill would add ten casinos to the state.
- Rumors say the Poarch Creek Tribe wants protection for casino licensing.
- Issues may revolve around the location of one casino rumored to be moving to Birmingham.
It seems as though gambling legislation may have a chance to pass into law in Alabama. The conservative state has tried many times to bring casinos, lottery, and sports betting to the area, but has failed to gain enough support. This time around, it may be different.
The legislation was just introduced and has already seen a little issue, as rumors began circulating over the weekend that the bill might not move forward. However, now, all is well, and it seems lawmakers have ironed out any issues.
No Specifics on the Issue
We know there were some issues with the bill over the weekend, but what happened is unclear. Executive Vice President for Business Development and Government Relations with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, Arthur Mothershed, stated that some things happened that shouldn’t have and it caused an issue.
Most of the problems have been ironed out, and those involved are still working on the bill. Apparently, there are still issues with how the measure is written, and the Poarch Creek tribe is working with lawmakers to address the problems and ensure a bill will move forward.
Rumors suggest that the Poarch Creek Indians, a federally recognized tribe in Alabama, and the race track owners in the state want to ensure a provision in the bill that allows them to make the last and best bid for a casino license. This provision, if included, could significantly influence the gambling landscape in the state.
Details of the Gambling Bill
So, what does the new Alabama bill entail? The current measure would establish a state lottery, offer sports betting, and have 10 casinos dotted across the state. It limits non-Poarch Creek Indian locations to counties or municipalities that have bingo halls or dog race tracks. The bill does not protect such entities that Alabama residents own to ensure licensing.
It’s not an unreasonable request, so we may see quick changes to the measure to add this level of protection to existing operators. This could mean that the new legislation could safeguard current gambling establishments, such as bingo halls or dog race tracks, owned by Alabama residents.
It also appears that changes may be made to move a casino in northeast Alabama to Birmingham, potentially affecting the geographical distribution of casinos in the state. Why this would be a problem is unclear as Birmingham is one of the state’s larger cities, aside from other northern cities like Huntsville.
The end goal of the legislation is to allow Alabamians the opportunity to vote for casino gaming, the lottery, and sports betting in the state. Will residents get the right to vote on the measure, or will the proposal never make it to the ballot due to rumors or conservative values?