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DFS pick’em in Alabama in June 2024

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What’s happening in Alabama sports betting right now?

The state hasn’t had much success with gambling legislation, but a sizeable appetite exists to legalize it.

After sponsoring gambling bills the past two legislative sessions, Sen. Greg Albritton told LSR there would be strong support for legal betting in 2024, including from Gov. Kay Ivey.

2024’s proposed legislation would have legalized online sports betting, created a gambling commission and lottery system, and allowed up to seven casinos to open. That bill would require a statewide vote on a constitutional amendment in November.

However, lawmakers stripped sports betting and casinos from that package before advancing a compromise proposal. The two bills, House Bill 151 and House Bill 152, would have created a state lottery but not include sports betting. Ultimately, even without sports betting, both bills still failed.

Alabama’s 2024 legislative session ends on May 20.

When will online sports betting launch in Alabama?

If sports betting in the state eventually becomes legal, it can take three months to a year to implement and launch.

Alabama also has only three tribal casinos and no lottery, so retail Alabama sports betting options could be sparse.

Legal betting options in Alabama

No legal sportsbook websites accept bets from anyone within the state of Alabama.

Any other websites that accept sports bets from someone in Alabama are not a legal option within the United States. Various familiar sportsbooks operate offshore, meaning they don’t hold a license from any US jurisdiction to accept bets from residents legally.

These websites offer no consumer protection whatsoever. They are under no obligation to provide resolutions should disputes arise, and companies can disappear without returning player deposits. The only safe and protected way to bet on sports in the United States is with a licensed sportsbook.

Most popular sports to bet on in Alabama

Should legal Alabama sports betting ever happen, there would be no shortage of sports betting enthusiasts.

The one critical aspect of sports betting for residents of Alabama to keep in mind is whether legislation will allow betting on in-state college athletics.

Alabama has no professional sports teams, but plenty of big schools boast the same sort of frenzied fanbases as some of the biggest pro teams.

The top two programs in the state are the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Auburn Tigers, both of which have strong NCAA football and basketball programs. The Crimson Tide football team, in particular, is likely the most popular in the state regardless of sport and has a strong nationwide following as one of the top teams in college football over the past 15 years.

Since the Alabama and Auburn football teams are followed like religion, college football betting would certainly be popular in Alabama.

As far as pro teams, allegiances in Alabama are likely geographical. The Atlanta Falcons, Tennessee Titans, and New Orleans Saints are all based in cities close to the Alabama border and would have strong ties to NFL fans in the state. The New Orleans Pelicans, Atlanta Hawks, and Memphis Grizzlies are the three closest NBA teams, and baseball fans in Alabama have the nearby Atlanta Braves as the closest MLB option.

Alabama DFS pick’em

After the state’s attorney general deemed daily fantasy sports to be illegal in 2016, the state legislature found a way to legalize the contests in 2019, meaning contests from Underdog, PrizePicks, DraftKings, and FanDuel are legal to play in the state. In 2023, both PrizePicks and Underdog reached an agreement with the Alabama Attorney General to alter their pick’em contest offerings.

Operators must register with the Office of the Attorney General to offer contests, and the tax rate is 10.5%.

Companies that earn more than $10 million nationwide pay an $85,000 registration fee and then the same annually to the Attorney General, and companies that earn less than $10 million are only required to pay a $1,000 fee upon registration and then annually.

Below are some of the daily fantasy sports platforms available to Alabamans now, along with what kinds of contests they offer:

Underdog Alabama

Like PrizePicks, Underdog recently changed its platform in Alabama and can no longer offer individual player stats as part of its pick’em contests. Instead, Underdog uses combo boxes where users pick the over/under on lines from at least two athletes.

Underdog also offers draft contests in Alabama. Draft contests operate with a best-ball format, meaning users select their team in a snake draft and then do not interact with their team until the end of the contest. The app automatically selects the best roster from your drafted team, and the winner is the team with the most cumulative points. Draft contests can be as short as one afternoon of football and as long as the entire season.

Is horse racing legal in Alabama?

Yes. However, while horse racing is legal in Alabama, no tracks currently offer live racing. There are options to bet on out-of-state horse racing.

Alabama allows simulcast betting and historical horse racing, which looks and acts like a slot machine.

Online horse betting is also legal under state law. That means sites TwinSpires and BetAmerica are legally accessible in Alabama. However, FanDuel Racing (formerly TVG) is not available in the state.

Alabama sports betting timeline

2024: Alabama lawmakers state their intention to introduce a gambling bill at the start of the legislative session. The bill would include a lottery, casino gambling, and online sports betting. The session begins Feb. 6.

Alabama sports betting legislation quickly clears the House on Feb. 15 with two approvals, House Bill 151 and House Bill 152. HB 151 is the constitutional amendment, and HB 152 is the legislation that would create a gaming commission and allow online sports betting, seven casinos, and a lottery.

Both HB 151 and HB 152 pass through the Alabama Senate, but with sports betting and iGaming stripped out. However, the legislation creates a lottery and allows for tribal compact negotiations and pari-mutuel wagering.

The House rejects the Senate changes to HB 151 and HB 152 and appoints a conference committee to the bills.

Sen. Albritton tells LSR the conference committee could be established on April 16, but that “after that, your guess is as good as mine” regarding the House and Senate reaching an agreement.

The conference committee proposal ultimately fails in the Senate by one vote after passing in the House.

2023: Lawmakers in Alabama expect multiple gaming bills, including online sports betting, to be introduced during the state’s legislative session. There is a substantial appetite to legalize sports betting among lawmakers in the state, and the effort would reportedly have the backing of Gov. Kay Ivey.

At the Pro-Growth Policy Conference held by Alabama Democrats, lawmakers explore possible options to legalize sports betting.

Underdog Fantasy announces that it will release peer-to-peer pick’em games in Alabama.

2022: SB 293 and SB 294 are introduced. SB 293 proposes an amendment to the Alabama Constitution and would have established a state lottery while allowing for sports betting and casino-style games. The bill would have limited sports betting to in-person wagers at a registered casino or mobile wagers through a platform provided by a registered casino. The bill would have limited the number of licensed facilities in the state to five.

SB 294 would have implemented the amendment proposed by SB 293. Both bills die on the Senate floor.

Also in 2022, HB 405 is introduced to make sports betting legal solely within Jefferson County. Jefferson County contains the state’s largest city and capital, Birmingham. The bill does not make it past a first reading.

2021: A comprehensive package aimed largely at establishing a state lottery stalls at the end of the legislative session. The package passes the Senate and fails to see the House floor for a vote. Along with establishing a state lottery, the package would have aimed to turn state racetracks into casinos, complete with retail and mobile sports betting.

2020: HB 336 appears to have stalled in committee. The bill aims to legalize mobile sports betting along with certain retail outlets licensed to take bets. Sports betting revenue would have been subject to a 10% tax rate.

2019: HB 315, which is similar to HB 336 in 2020, also fails in committee. But Alabamans get access to daily fantasy sports in 2019 after a bill legalizes the games. The state’s attorney general deemed the games illegal in 2016.

Alabama sports betting FAQ

Is sports betting legal in Alabama?

No. Right now, there are no legal options for sports betting in Alabama.

Who would oversee betting in Alabama?

Legislators likely would need to create a regulatory board through the same legislation that would legalize sports betting in the state to oversee the activity.

Will mobile wagering be allowed in Alabama?

It’s too early to say if mobile and online betting will be in any potential future Alabama sports betting law. The most recent legislation did include mobile sports betting in a limited capacity.

There are some websites that say they accept bets from the United States. Are those legal options?

No. There are no sportsbook operators licensed at the federal level.

Any website that suggests it accepts bets from anywhere in the US is a website that operates offshore. It is not legal for those sites to accept bets from US citizens, and those sites offer no protection to those who bet on them.