For people who have a strong interest in betting legally in Alabama in the near future, some good news has just arrived from lawmakers. Matter of fact, the big news is that the Alabama sports betting fight took a major step forward late last month, as the Tourism Committee approved a plan that would bring five new casinos and sports betting to Alabama. Now, things will make their way to the senate.
Obviously, this is huge for two reasons. No. 1, this means that things truly are going in the right direction for sports betting in Alabama to be made legal. Lawmakers across the state are quite aware that this is taking place illegally all over the place. That illegal activity is a business worth millions and millions of dollars, yet there’s nothing to be done to regulate things.
Now, though, this new plan would welcome sports betting to Alabama and the government would be able to have control over things and not see money exchanged illegally. Plus, the plan for five new casinos would be massive for the economy, with it also providing countless jobs for people in need as well. Now, everyone will wait and see how things shape out via the vote in the Senate, but there’s plenty of hope.
“This is not a gaming expansion,” Senator Greg Albritton said via AL.com. “This is a gaming control bill, so that the state exercises its sovereignty over this industry, just like it does the chicken industry. Just like it does the construction industry. Just like the banking industry. It exercises a sovereignty and regulates the operations. It controls the growth in locations and it taxes them.”
Sam McQuillan breaks down recent developments in mobile sports betting in Alabama: https://t.co/uJEgejvZCV
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) March 11, 2022
A similar proposal stalled last year for Alabama sports betting
One thing to remember here is that a similar proposal stalled last year for Alabama sports betting, which was a bummer to see. At this point last year, there was plenty of excitement and optimism that sports betting would be made legal in time for 2022 to arrive. By this point, the expectation was that sports betting would have been an option for people in Alabama in person and online.
That didn’t happen though, as things never went through in the senate. Now, though, it feels like this latest proposal really has legs. Keep in mind that this is a package deal, so if sports betting does pass, it would only be allowed in person at one of the new locations that have presented for the casinos. This is something that people are going to have to wait for.
If it does cross the finish line, then people will be able to participate in sports betting in Jefferson County, Mobile County, Macon County, Green County, Jackson County and DeKalb County. On top of this, certain properties on Indian reservations will be granted permission to have sportsbooks as well. This is going to prove people in Alabama with lots of different options.
“Does anyone know how many casinos are in operation in Alabama now?” Albritton said as well in terms of casino action in the state. “All the operations are going on now. Nothing comes into the state, whether that be PCI (the Poarch Creeks), whether that be Greene County, whether that be Lowndes County, the state does not receive a penny.”
An Alabama bill that would create a lottery, permit sports betting and allow the state's first commercial casinos is on this afternoon's Senate agenda after passing out of committee, but it may not be taken up; the bill, not surprisingly, remains highly controversial in the state
— Ryan Butler (@ButlerBets) March 15, 2022
Sports betting would be huge for Alabama college sports
It goes without saying, but sports betting would be huge for Alabama college sports moving forward. In terms of football, teams like Alabama, Auburn and others are always going to be in the mix to go on a deep postseason run. Alabama won the National Championship two seasons ago, and they lost in the final this past season to Georgia. Loads of money were placed on that game.
Unfortunately for people in Alabama, they weren’t able to make legal sports bets on that action if they wanted to. Instead, they needed to travel to a different state to place a college bet. That doesn’t seem fair, as people think by now they should be able to check out the best sportsbooks and then place their bets with confidence. The fact that things have stalled just doesn’t make sense.
If things were legal now, people would be lining up to make bets for the 2022 NCAA Tournament. However, with things still in limbo for Alabama, that’s not the case for the local citizens. Their frustration is shared with people from other states, like Texas, Florida and California, where sports wagering isn’t on the table yet. With this latest proposal, things very well could change soon enough. Will it happen?
That remains to be seen but we should have an answer to things in the coming weeks. This is obviously a massive opportunity for the Alabama lawmakers to make some positive changes, but there are also plenty of people who are against most casinos and sports betting arriving. Having said that, there are countless people who are ready for it to happen. More updates should be arriving on this in the near future.