Alabama Sports Betting Bill Could Move This Week, Bumpy Road Awaits

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Alabama sports betting

Alabama sports betting legislation might start advancing in the Senate this week, with its prospects still uncertain.

Sen. Greg Albritton told LSR that House Bill 151 and House Bill 152 could move in the upper chamber this week. The comprehensive gambling package advanced through the House earlier this month.

While Alabama sports betting bills have passed the Senate before, Albritton said after House passage that the chamber is not a “slam dunk,” but is hopeful as he works to gather votes. Industry sources tell LSR they remain optimistic the package makes it to Gov. Kay Ivey, a supporter of the legislation, with sports betting intact.

“There are definitely hurdles left; sounds like a coin flip,” a source said last week. “You do the easy stuff first, you don’t start with the hard steps.”

Alabama Senators push gaming package

The pair of bills creates the Alabama Lottery, and legalizes casino gaming and online sports betting. Because gambling requires a constitutional amendment, the bills require a 60% vote in the legislature to send the issue to voters in November.

Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton told local media Thursday that the package has a “70% chance” of passage. Even if it passes, there will be amendments, sources tell LSR, so a conference committee would be necessary to work out differences between House and Senate legislation.

“They’ve sent us a bill up here, (and) it’s something we can work with,” Singleton said. “I look forward to the day that we can have a real debate about it. If we can get it out of here on this floor, debate it, and we can probably move forward with it. I think that that can happen here.”

Does it end up just Lottery, Alabama sports betting?

Sen. Sam Givhan told The Dale Jackson Show that there are too many ‘no’ votes at the moment. He said multiple lawmakers will vote no on casino gaming but would vote yes on a lottery. 

Multiple LSR sources suggest legislators might strip casino gaming from the bill. That would leave just the Alabama Lottery and sports betting, to which lawmakers appear more amenable.

One source said it could end up just a lottery bill. Alabama is one of five states without a lottery.

Change of tides in Alabama

Previously, gaming efforts have started in the Senate and failed to gain traction in the House. This year, House leadership jumped onboard and pushed bills through quickly on votes of 70-32 and 67-31.

Prior to the session, Albritton, who sponsored sports betting legislation the past few sessions, was confident the Senate could pass a House-backed proposal.

All forms of gaming are outlawed in the 1901 Alabama Constitution. Gov. Kay Ivey appointed a Study Group on Gambling Policy in 2020 that found the state could generate up to $800 million in tax revenue from the industry.