The future of Alabama sports betting

Alabama hasn’t had much success with gambling legislation in the past. But it feels likely that Alabama will eventually legalize sports betting.

Two of Alabama’s border states, Mississippi and Tennessee, legalized sports betting. Tennessee offers mobile-only sports betting. Bettors in Mississippi need to visit a casino to place their bets.

There have been attempts to legalize mobile sports betting in Mississippi. And another border state, Georgia, tried to pass mobile betting in 2021.

It seems likely that if more states begin to allow mobile betting that would be easily accessible to residents of Alabama, legislators would want to find a way to keep those tax dollars from leaving the state.

When will online sports betting launch in Alabama?

It’s impossible to give a timeline right now with no current sports betting legislation. The most recent effort included mobile wagering.

That said, Alabama has only three tribal casinos and no lottery, so retail AL sports betting could be sparse. It seems like the only way AL could successfully offer sports betting is to offer an open mobile market with untethered operators, like Tennessee.

Latest Alabama sports betting news

Legal betting options in Alabama

Aside from betting on horse racing, there are no legal sportsbook websites that 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. There are various familiar sportsbooks that operate offshore, meaning they don’t hold a license from any US jurisdiction to legally accept bets from residents.

These websites offer no consumer protection whatsoever. Winning bets might not be paid out and companies can disappear without returning player deposits.

The only safe and protected way to bet on sports in the United States is to do so with a licensed operator.

Most popular sports to bet on in Alabama

Whenever legalized Alabama sports betting does happen, there will be no shortage of sports betting enthusiasts.

The one critical aspect sports betting in Alabama should keep in mind is allowing bettors to wager on in-state collegiate athletics.

Alabama has no professional sports teams but it has plenty of big schools that boast the same sort of frenzied fanbase some of the biggest professional teams have.

The top two programs in the state are the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Auburn Tigers, both of whom have strong NCAA football teams.

No doubt should either one of those programs make a run to the College Football Playoff, betting handle could rival that taken on some of the biggest NFL playoff games.

The fans of those programs also tend to be educated on SEC football in general. Betting on those contests, even between two out-of-state schools, would also likely be substantial.

Alabama and Daily Fantasy Sports

While it isn’t betting, sports fans do still have options for sports entertainment.

Alabama legalized daily fantasy sports in 2019, meaning contests from DraftKings and FanDuel are legal to play in the state.

In 2016, Attorney General Luther Strange ordered a cease-and-desist to both operators, suspending DFS contests.

Is horse racing legal in Alabama?

While horse racing is legal in Alabama, there are currently no tracks that offer live racing. But there are options to bet on out-of-state horse racing.

Alabama allows simulcast betting as well as historical horse racing, which looks and acts like slot machines.

Online horse betting is also allowed by state law. That means sites like TVG, TwinSpires and BetAmerica are legal to access from Alabama.

AL sports betting history

2021: A package of bills to launch a state lottery and establish casinos and sports betting passed the Senate but failed to see action in the House.

2020: HB 336 appears to have stalled in committee. The bill aimed to legalize mobile sports betting along with certain retail outlets licensed to take bets. Sports betting revenue would have been taxed at 10%.

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

Alabama sports betting FAQ

Is sports wagering legal?

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 legalizes AL sports betting to oversee the activity.

Will mobile wagering be allowed?

It’s too early to say if mobile and online betting will be in a future Alabama sports betting law. The most recent legislation included mobile sports betting.

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 betting from anywhere in the US is allowed is a website that operators 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.

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