• The gambling bill fell one vote short of approval.
  • Senate leaders say another vote may take place.
  • The Senate will reconvene on Thursday.

It seems as if Alabama will never see a gambling expansion come to fruition. This year has been the closest the state has gotten to allowing residents to vote on an expansion in gambling, and that’s without legislation moving forward.

This week, the Senate met to discuss a bill that would allow the lottery and up to ten casinos in Alabama. The measure failed to move forward by one vote. Another vote may occur before the session ends and could lead the way to more gambling activities.

An Unusual Situation

Yesterday, the Senate met to discuss HB151 and HB152. Both are compromised versions of bills that passed within the House and Senate earlier this year. Earlier in the day, a conference committee consisting of three senators and three representatives voted on the changed versions. A conference committee report was approved during this process.

The bills were then moved to the House and approved with revisions. Later that day, the Senate had to vote and approve. At 10 pm, Senate members were still discussing the legislation. HB151 finally received a vote of 20-15 in favor, with Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth stating the report had failed to pass.

However, Senate Secretary Pat Harris said the vote was enough to adopt the report and did not require a majority of 21 votes. HB151 was then delayed. In the past, the Senate has adopted such reports without 21 votes, which was an odd occurrence in the Legislature.


Another Vote Can Be Called

The Senate President can call for another vote on the matter when the lawmakers meet again and discuss the second bill. It appears that more talks are needed to try to reach an agreement before the bills are voted on again.

Some lawmakers feel that HB151 will pass if it is voted on again. As an Alabama resident, this is something that voters want a say in. Legislators continue to push back in some form or fashion and do not allow the citizens to vote on a matter that would affect them. The last time Alabama had a lottery vote was in 1999.

One issue that may be stopping the legislation is the casino expansion element. Up to ten casinos are included in the bill, seven of which offer no table games. The remaining three would be allowed to offer full-scale gaming. With the lottery, net revenues would go towards education, which is desperately needed as Alabama is at the bottom when comparing educational opportunities in the United States.

About the Author

Author Sadonna Price has been part of the online casino industry for over a decade, watching it develop and expand across the US. She enjoys playing online slots and table games, as well as Texas Hold’em.