Just when you think there’s some good updates on the way for Alabama sports betting, the opposite turns out to be the case. For a while now, people all over Alabama have been hoping that legal sports wagers would make their way, but that hasn’t been the case. Now, a lot of people are shaking their heads a bit with the news that an Alabama sports betting bill could be delayed for yet another year. This isn’t what people wanted to be reading about this week.
According to AL.com, Republican Chris Blackshear, who has been a big part of the planning for potential sports betting in previous years, has said publicly that he is not focused on a sports betting bill for the 2023 legislative session. In a bit of a surprise, Blackshear said that with so many new Alabama house members, he knows that it’s going to be tough for things to get passed before they can move on for a vote.
Per AL.com, any kind of a gambling or betting bill would require 3/5 of the total votes to pass. From there, it would then move on to the public to vote yes or no on a ballot. With all the new additions to the Alabama house, Blackshear clearly doesn’t think that 60 percent of the people on board will vote in favor of sports betting, which is why he wants the group as a whole to try and get on the same page before moving forward with something.
This is disappointing, as a lot of people were hoping that a new betting bill would potentially be on the Alabama ballot for later this year. While no final decision has been made and something could change in the coming weeks or months, Blackshear’s stance really makes it seem like Alabama will punt on sports betting for this year and wait to try and come up with something special for 2024. Again, that’s not the news people were hoping for.
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey continues to support sports betting
What’s important to remember here is that Alabama Governor Kay Ivey continues to support sports betting, as she knows how big of a potential there is for major revenue. While Kay herself isn’t working on bills or trying to spread the word, she has stated that the economic help it would provide the state would be fantastic. Per a report, it has been estimated that sports betting would bring in roughly $500 million a year for the state.
Not only that, but with different sportsbooks and in-person betting options launching, it would also create plenty of jobs for the hard-working people of Alabama. That really feels like a win-win. In previous years, Alabama has tried moving forward with a sports betting bill, but things haven’t been able to get across the finish line. The hope is that the next bill that’s presented will make it through for a vote on the ballot, and that Alabama’s citizens will be all for it.
In recent months alone, a lot of folks have voiced their displeasure with having to travel to outside locations during the football season to make their bets. People in Alabama would obviously love to check the NFL betting odds on a consistent basis and put their money down. Despite the state not having a pro team, people love football in the south, which is why they were upset they couldn’t check out the Super Bowl betting odds either.
At the end of the day, Alabama is losing millions and millions of dollars by not having sports betting. The number of states to legalize it has grown and more states are looking to get bills approved in the near future as well. The longer Alabama waits, the more angry the sports fans in the area are going to be.
Gov. Kay Ivey’s Study Group on Gambling Policy estimated that Alabama could raise $510 million to $710 million from a lottery, casinos, and sports betting. Would you approve of a constitutional amendment expanding gambling? https://t.co/rMhhUM3bQP pic.twitter.com/ZgUSkVUA8e
— AL.com (@aldotcom) December 21, 2020
NCAA betting would provide huge growth for Alabama sports betting
When looking at the future, there’s no question that NCAA betting would provide huge growth for Alabama sports betting – the issue is getting things off the ground first. Despite the popularity of the NFL in the state, the Alabama Crimson Tide and Auburn Tigers have massive followings. Those are two of the most electric SEC teams out there, and the support they both have is through the roof.
When it comes to Alabama, they’re seemingly in the National Championship Game conversation every year. Their rivalry with the Georgia Bulldogs has been a lot of fun to watch in recent years as well, but people think the games would be way more fun if they’d be able to bet on them. For now, that’s not allowed in Alabama.
It’s also not allowed in Georgia, with the two states fighting the same battle. Hopefully soon enough, this will all be put in the past and people in Alabama can make their sports wagers in peace, and do so in legal fashion. The latest report on things potentially being moved back a year sure sucks for a lot of people. Let’s see if something can change soon.
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