The list of states that have considered or introduced sports betting bills now stands at 37 after an unlikely state — Alabama — joined the party on Tuesday.
The Alabama sports betting bill, at a glance
Here’s a quick look at what the bill would do:
- Create the Alabama Sports Wagering Commission.
- Tax gross revenue at a rate of 10%.
- Make seven licenses available to any facility where pari-mutuel wagering is authorized.
- Price the application fee for a license at $100,000.
- Allow for wagering via “mobile application or other digital platforms.”
There is time for a bill to make its way through the legislature, which is scheduled to adjourn in June.
So, where would betting be authorized?
- There is currently only one location with active racing: A greyhound track in Birmingham.
- There are simulcast/off-track betting facilities in Eutaw, Mobile and Macon.
- There is no mention in the bill of the tribal casinos in the state operated by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.
- The wording of the bill also appears to authorize mobile wagering anywhere within the state’s borders.
Appetite for Alabama sports betting?
Sports betting in the state is likely a pretty big underdog.
There has not been much of an appetite for gambling expansions in the state; in fact, efforts to create a state lottery have been turned back on multiple occasions.
While other Southern states, including neighboring Mississippi, have embraced gambling, Alabama has generally decried new forms of gaming.
Bills to legalize daily fantasy sports in the state have also run into roadblocks. In 2017, a rant from a state lawmaker on a daily fantasy sports bill shed some light on how pervasive sports gambling is, even in Alabama.
Momentum, but not momentum for sports
Sports betting legislation remains in play in many states. The interest in much of the US is not indicative of success, at least to date.
Despite all those bills, no new state has actually authorized sports betting this year. Rhode Island did decide to upgrade sports wagering to include online and mobile betting.
Currently, legal betting takes place in eight states.