The state of Alabama may finally join the rest of the US and provide players with access to more casino gaming options, sports betting, and a lottery. An effort to see all of this come to pass has slowly been moving through Legislature and recently, the Senate decided to approve a proposal to see the residents of Alabama vote on the matter.
SB 319 was approved by the Senate with a vote of 23 to 9. The bill is now within the House and was read. It was then moved to the Economic Development and Tourism Committee. If it is able to move out of the House, then residents will be able to vote next November on if the constitution of the state should be amended to include the gambling activities.
The bill would set up a gaming compact with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, a tribe that already offers Class II bingo gaming in the state. A new compact would be created to cover Class III gaming. The gaming venues of the tribe would be allowed to offer traditional slots and table games.
On top of that, the legislation allows for up to six commercial casinos to be built in the state. Three tribal properties are also on the table and would be operated by the Poarch Creek Indians. Licensing fees would range from $5 million to $35 million based on the area’s population where the casino would be created.
For proponents of gambling in Alabama, the movement of the legislation seems like a dream come true. There is still a long way to go but those who are in favor of bringing the state into the 21st century hope to see the legislation move through the House and then voters approve the option. If everything goes well, the new options would come to fruition, though it will take some time for the industries to get started in the state.