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Sports betting alternatives in Alabama in February 2024

DFS is legal in Alabama. The state legalized daily fantasy sports contests in 2019. Read more about the available options below.

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The future of Alabama sports betting

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 will be strong support for legal betting in 2024, including from Gov. Kay Ivey.

Momentum towards legalization has been building over the last few years after a 2021 bill made it to the Alabama Senate floor before dying. 2022 brought a bill that proposed a constitutional amendment to legalize sports betting and institute a state lottery. That, too, failed to pass through the Legislature.

2024’s legislation would create a gaming commission, a lottery system, and legalize online sports betting alongside up to seven casinos.

With border states Tennessee, Mississippi, and Florida all currently offering legal sports betting, legislators would likely want to keep tax dollars from leaving the state by making online betting legal for Alabama residents.

When will online sports betting launch in Alabama?

If sports betting in the state is eventually legalized, 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 could be sparse. The latest bill requires a constitutional amendment and would need a statewide vote in November.

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. 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 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 of sports betting for residents of Alabama to keep in mind is whether legislation will allow betting on in-state collegiate athletics.

Alabama has no professional sports teams, but plenty of big schools 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 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 last 15 years under head coach Nick Saban.

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 while baseball fans in Alabama likely favor the nearby Atlanta Braves of the MLB.

Alabama sports betting alternatives

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 is a list of some daily fantasy sports companies available to Alabamans now, along with what kinds of contests they offer:

PrizePicks Alabama

PrizePicks is a DFS platform that, in most states, offers pick’em style contests where users select an over/under on a player’s stat line provided by the app. Users must pick between two and six different stat lines. However, PrizePicks recently altered their contests in Alabama and can no longer offer individual athlete stat lines as part of the pick’em. Instead, each pick made by the user is a “combo” box with at least two player stats. Users select between two and six of these combo boxes.

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?

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 allowed by state law. That means sites like FanDuel TV (formerly TVG), TwinSpires and BetAmerica are legal to access in Alabama.

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 gaming, 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 creating a gaming commission and allowing online sports betting, seven casinos, and a lottery.

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 explored possible options for legalized sports betting.

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

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

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

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

2021: A comprehensive package aimed largely at establishing a state lottery stalled at the end of the legislative session. The package passed the Senate and failed to see the House floor for a vote. Along with establishing a state lottery, the package 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 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 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 legalizes AL sports betting 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 a 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 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.