Alabama is one of the few states in America that has resisted the urge to legalize sports betting, casinos and even a state lottery. The only gaming you will find in Alabama is on the reservation of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.
Here you will find three casinos which have ‘electronic bingo’ games. However, even these games have been challenged on the basis that they are not bingo games as they fall into the category of gambling.
Alabama might have to rethink its stance going into 2021 on casinos, sports betting and lotteries. The COVID-19 pandemic has financial problems to all states and Alabama is no exception. The state government is looking for new ways to generate income, create jobs and raise funds for a number of important projects.
Gov. Kay Ivey commissioned a “Study Group on Gambling Policy” that looked at the potential casino, betting and lottery market in the state. The Group submitted a report of that study in December 2020 and some of those findings have now been made public.
The report has estimated that a state lottery would generate close to $300 million in each, while a legalized casino industry would generate close to $400 million. The legalization of sports betting would bring in an over $10 million in revenue. The legalization of gambling in the state is expected to generate 19,000 employment opportunities.
The current constitution prevents casinos, sports betting and the lottery. If Alabama wanted to lift the ban, a constitution amendment would have to be made which would let voters in the state have the final say.
Report Asks For Single Gambling Regulatory
Some legislators have been very impressed with the report and its findings. One of the things that the report highlighted was that the current state of gambling proposals in Alabama did very little to push gambling forward. This is because most of these efforts have been slowed down due to lawsuits, political tussles and issues with law enforcement.
The report says that state legislators will have to work together and be on the same page if they are going to fast track legalized gambling. One of the key recommendations made in the report is to ensure that there is only one gambling regulator for casino games, the state lottery and sports betting.