Alabama Senate committee passes gaming and lottery bills
Alabama’s legislative committee has approved two bills that would allow casino gaming, sports betting and the creation of a state lottery.
The two gambling bills introduced by Alabama state senator Greg Albritton have been approved by a senate committee and will now move forward for debate. Senate Bill 293, a constitutional amendment, and Senate Bill 294, which has details on the proposed law, would create an Alabama state lottery and allow other gaming options.
They would also establish a Alabama Education Lottery and a Gambling Commission to supervise and regulate a state lottery, as well as allow casino-style games, sports betting, bingo, and raffles to be conducted subject to licensure by the commission.
The number of licensed casinos would be limited to five locations across the state. Two satellite casinos would offer a limited number of electronic gaming machines. The bill puts forward a 20 per cent tax rate on the net gambling revenues for casinos and sports betting.
Sports betting operator licences would allow an operator to host “one or more individually branded, Internet sports betting platforms”. The licence fee for internet sports wagering operators would be $100,000.
Sports betting licensees would be able to partner with managed services providers as long as that provider is also licensed by the Commission. The managed services provider licence would also have a $100,000 fee.
Casino gaming licensees would be allowed to offer slot machines, video lottery terminals, pari-mutuel wagering games, horse races, card games, dice games, roulette and bingo, among other games.
The bill was assigned to the state Committee on Tourism, which reported favourably after proposing two amendments. It will now move back to the Senate floor, where Senators will consider the amendments before voting on the bill itself.
Senator Albritton wants to see the legislation on the Senate calendar soon and expects the bills to move quickly through the Alabama Senate.
Last year a similar bill was introduced but failed in the Alabama House of Representatives. Alabama is one of just six states without a state lottery. If approved by the Legislature, the measure would go before voters in the November general election.
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