Just when you think there’s some good movement for Alabama sports betting, the state takes a major step back thanks to some incredibly concerning news. That’s because six Alabama residents have been indicted in an illegal sports betting scheme. That’s right, an Alabama sports betting ring shut down by officials is making headlines all across the world and it’s a terrible look for everyone involved.
According to a report, 11 people in total were indicted for this sports betting ring, with a Birmingham local setting things up. Per that report, Timothy Pughsley, 51, started the illegal sports betting operation called Red44, with things officially launching 17 years ago. For those 17 years, Pughsley and his associates ran their sports betting ring and saw an incredible amount of money transferred during that time.
This activity was able to get done through an offshore account located in Costa Rica. You simply can’t make this stuff up. With this, lawmakers all over Alabama are worried that more rings could be up and running right now. This is obviously going to lead to officials increasing their efforts in trying to shut things down for the long haul. With Red44, the indictment that’s been recorded states that the company accepted hundreds of millions of dollars worth of bets.
This was no small operation, and now Pughsley is about to pay some serious consequences for what he thought was going to be a long-term good idea. He got away with it for well over 10 years, but this latest news must have rocked his world. Pughsley is now facing 38 counts of tax evasion, one count of conspiring to operate an illegal sports betting organization and more. He’s looking at some serious jail time if he’s found guilty on all counts.
A federal grand jury has indicted 11 men – including six from Alabama – on charges that the sports betting organization they managed evaded tens of millions of dollars in excise taxes for three years.
— AL.com (@aldotcom) January 8, 2023
Illegal sports betting has been a problem in Alabama for years
Unfortunately for everyone involved, illegal sports betting has been a problem in Alabama for years and it’s not going to go away soon – unless things are finally made legal in the state. The reason these kinds of betting rings are in operations is because people don’t have legal betting options to take advantage of. Alabama hasn’t joined the more than 30 USA states with the legalization of sports wagers.
Most recently, Ohio sports betting was launched on Jan. 1 at midnight. From that moment, we have seen an incredible amount of success for the project in the state. People are checking the NFL betting odds with a passion right now, as the NFL postseason is about to get going later this week. With that, people in Ohio are of course going to be paying close attention to the Super Bowl betting odds for the Cincinnati Bengals.
A lot of futures bets are coming in for the Bengals. While there’s no NFL team in Alabama, you already know that people would be checking the NCAAF betting odds and placing an unreal amount of bets on Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson tide. Alabama is a powerhouse each and every year, and they’re always a threat to win the National Championship Game. This is why people would love the option to legally bet on them.
That’s not an option, though, which has led to way too many illegal bets to be placed. Right now, Alabama is optimistic that it will be able to get a new sports betting bill on the docket soon, but things remain unclear there. The longer the state waits in making a move, the more money they’re going to lose in potential revenue. On top of this, we’re surely going to see more betting rings taken down as well.
— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) January 8, 2023
Alabama sports betting may not come in 2023
What makes this even more disappointing for people in the state is that Alabama sports betting may not come in 2023. There are other states out there who have shown much more urgency in trying to get the green light. Alabama isn’t on the list, as while there are plenty of proponents for legal betting, there’s also a lot of people who don’t want to see it happen. This includes politicians.
Alabama is a conservative state and people don’t like the idea of sports betting being an option for people at the drop of a hat. There’s concern over gambling addiction, which we have seen become a growing issue for other states. However, there are also programs in place to help people out and sports betting in a regulated fashion is far better for Alabama than all of his illegal activity to continue taking place. It just doesn’t make sense for things to continue as they currently are.
At the end of the day, there feels like there’s going to be an uphill climb for Alabama to get betting in 2023. The following year in 2024 seems more likely, but again, no one knows how things are going to end up playing out there. What we do know is that sports betting in Alabama is long overdo. Only time will tell if lawmakers decide to make a run at things sooner than later in this case.