The Two House Bills Aimed at Authorizing Sports Betting in Alabama May be Amended to Address Concerns from Both the House and Senate

March 1, 2024 | Government

ALABAMA (February 28, 2024) — The following is a summary of  the current status of two bills, House Bill 151 and House Bill 152, aimed at authorizing sports betting in Alabama:

  1. House Bill 151 (HB 151):
    • Sponsored by Rep. Chris Blackshear.
    • Proposes a constitutional amendment to allow residents to vote on sports betting in Alabama.
    • Passed by a 70-32 vote.
  2. House Bill 152 (HB 152):
    • Also sponsored by Rep. Chris Blackshear.
    • Provides the framework for sports betting and a lottery in Alabama.
    • If signed into law, it would establish the Alabama Gaming Commission as the regulator of sports betting and the Alabama Lottery Corporation as the administrator of the state lottery.
    • Approved with a 67-31 vote.

Despite the approval from the House, there is opposition from residents and various groups in the state, with concerns about the negative impact of gambling on families, communities, and vulnerable populations. Some argue that the potential revenue generated by these measures may not outweigh the perceived social costs.

The bills are currently in discussion, and there is a possibility that they may be amended to address concerns from both the House and Senate. The potential annual revenue for Alabama, if sports wagering, casino-style games, and a lottery are authorized, is estimated to be between approximately $635 million and $913 million, according to the Legislative Services Agency.

The ongoing discussions and potential amendments highlight the need for consensus among lawmakers to find a resolution that addresses concerns while allowing for the potential economic benefits of legalized sports betting and a lottery. The bills will continue to be discussed in an Alabama subcommittee in the coming week.