Lottery, Gambling Bill Heads to Alabama Legislative Conference Committee for Negotiations

April 17, 2024 | Gambling

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (April 16, 2024) — Alabama lawmakers on Tuesday appointed a conference committee to try to negotiate a compromise on gambling legislation as the two chambers remain apart on whether to allow sports betting and multiple casinos in the state.

The Alabama Senate voted to send the two-bill package to a conference committee and appointed Senate members to the panel. It was the first legislative action on the bill since the House of Representatives rejected Senate changes to the bill on April 4.

The legislation has been stalled since March when senators scaled back a sweeping House-passed plan that would have allowed a lottery, sports betting and up to 10 casinos with table games. The Senate version would not allow sports betting or casinos outside of tribal land.

Alabama lawmakers have expressed mixed views on whether an agreement can be reached.

“I feel good about it,” said Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton, a member of the conference committee.

Singleton said he thought any proposal must be a “hybrid” of the House and Senate versions.

With eight meeting days remaining in the session, lawmakers face both a ticking legislative clock and a difficult vote threshold to get the measure approved.

Any gambling proposal would have to be approved by both three-fifths of lawmakers and a majority of voters. Alabamians have not voted on gambling since a proposed lottery was rejected in 1999.

Singleton said one area of disagreement involves when the statewide vote should be held. Singleton said some Republicans do not want the gambling vote held on the same day as the November general election.

SOURCE: The Associated Press.

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