The Legislature started its session with high hopes that this would be the year a gambling bill would pass, finally. But that hope officially died Monday night when the legislative session ended. Read more.
The Alabama House of Representatives on Thursday received a Senate-passed gambling measure that had morphed from one entirely focused on a state lottery into an umbrella bill with the lottery, casinos and sports betting.
The bill got a first reading and was sent to the tourism committee. This is the twisted trail of a legislative effort to enhance state revenues without directly imposing new taxes. Read more.
More from the Legislature this week:
The Alabama Senate on Tuesday defeated a plan to start a lottery and allow casinos in the state by two votes. Twenty-one votes were required to approve the constitutional amendment, but the Senate vote was 19 to 13 in favor.
Gov. Kay Ivey said the defeat just meant more work needed to be done on a gambling proposal, and she still supported giving Alabamians a vote on whether they want a lottery and gaming.
“This issue is too important to not get it right,” Ivey said in a statement. “No doubt gambling is complex and challenging, but I remain committed to giving the people of Alabama the final say.” Read more.
Also in the Legislature
Bill to Limit Executive Branch Spending Advances
MONTGOMERY — A wide-ranging gambling bill in the Alabama Senate could allow state voters to institute a lottery, expand casino gambling and legalize sports betting.
The proposal, introduced Tuesday by Sen. Del Marsh, R-Anniston, comes after an extensive report from Gov. Kay Ivey’s study group on gambling showed such proposals could bring in hundreds of millions in revenue and that voters favored expanded gambling.
“I feel good about where the bill is right now,” Marsh told reporters in the State House Tuesday. “This takes a lot of the (study group’s) input into the bill. I think the people of the state are ready to address this issue and want to.”
Read more on the legislative session.