Alabama Baseball Scandal Will Only Hurt the State’s Sports Betting Push

This was absolutely the last thing needed for the Alabama sports betting hopes. One of the major headlines for the state in recent months was the scandal that rocked the university in Tuscaloosa, which led to the Crimson Tide baseball coach getting fired. There were suspicious bets on an Alabama game, which put a halt to bets on those teams. Shortly after, three coaches were fired for alleged involvement. With that, the Alabama baseball scandal will only hurt the states’ sports betting push.

From the moment this scandal was announced and the concern details were brought to light, it has only led to several officials to claim it’s a major reason why legal betting would become a major issue for the state. There’s growing concern that if sports betting ever were to be legalized, then additional scandals like this would end up going down. This would be terrible to see for collegiate programs.

One thing to remember here is that there are no prob NBA, MLB or NFL teams in Alabama. The bread and butter for the state from a sports concern is the college games. In addition to college baseball, college football and college basketball is massive for Alabama. Each fall, people check the NCAAF betting odds to see how the Alabama Crimson Tide is shaping up, as Nick Saban is a legend of the game.

Then in the spring, people are focused on college hoops. The dream for a lot of people has been that legal sports betting would arrive in Alabama either in 2024 or 2025 at the latest. This is something that plenty of people in the Senate are eyeing as well. However, there’s now huge worry among so many fans out there that the baseball scandal could lead to even more of a delay. That would be brutal to see.

Governor Kay Ivey wants to get things cleaned up as soon as possible

With this major setback, it goes without saying that Governor Kay Ivey wants to get things cleaned up as soon as possible here. Not long ago, the longtime governor admitted that not bringing sports betting to Alabama was one of her major regrets. This is a project that she’s hoping to get done in the near future. However, things keep on getting pushed back and it’s leaving plenty of sports supporters quite desperate.

“I was disappointed that they did not get the gambling bill passed,” Ivey said recently of Alabama not being able to push forward with legal sports betting in the past. “Not that I am so much for gambling, but I do think the people of Alabama ought to have the right to make that decision. I wish that had passed the legislature so that people could vote it up or down in November.”

Sooner than later, officials and lawmakers need to find a way to get on the same page – it’d be in the best interest of people in the state. Ivey wants things to move forward in the House and then the Senate. This would open the door for a sports betting measure to be present on the November ballot. If things were to ever get that far, then the assumption is that the local citizens indeed would get things approved.

In recent battles, though, things haven’t even gotten to a point where people in Alabama have been able to vote on things. If it were up to Ivey, then this would be an option this fall. However, it doesn’t look like we’re going to see a betting measure on the November ballot in Alabama for quite some time. This is obviously something Ivey wants to see changed before she ends up leaving office.

High-ranking officials continue to be against Alabama betting

What’s hurting the state right now is that high-ranking Alabama officials continue to be against Alabama betting. Ivey may be in favor of the laws being changed, but there are plenty of people who are not in her corner. One of the biggest worries for people who don’t want betting is they’re worried about addiction becoming a growing problem for people in Alabama.

The fact of the matter here, though, is that more than 30 states in the USA have approved legal sports betting and more will be on the way next year. Millions of dollars for a sports betting handle are being posted, with some states even topping $1 billion already this year. Take a look at New York and Ohio, as they’ve been red hot with the betting numbers.

While we don’t think that Alabama will reach that level of success, we do think that people would love the chance to take advantage of MLB betting, NFL betting, NCAA betting and more. Ivey wants to see it get done, but the optimism among the public isn’t high at all right now. Hopefully things can change down the road, but things aren’t very clear right now. It’s tough to see and something that has frustrated so many people out there.

Peter Lewis

Peter Lewis Jr. comes from Mississippi where he and his family spend their days discussing college football, baseball and basketball. He's written sports journalism for years after studying journalism at a local university. Over time, Peter has cultivated extensive knowledge covering sports betting legislation across the country. He closely tracks the latest regulatory developments and provides key insights into their impacts. Peter also offers sharp MLB betting analysis, leveraging stats and trends to identify value on matchups.