The state of Alabama is one of the most conservative in the US. The region is home to one tribal gaming venue and bingo here and there. The lottery and additional casino gaming, nor sports betting is legalized. The Poarch Band of Creek Indians recently revealed a plan where they would bring new gaming to the state, providing a ton of revenue sources. Governor Kay Ivey is interested but has requested a study first. Now, we have learned that despite Ivey’s wishes to study the option first, a new bill has been introduced that would push the Poarch Creek’s plans into fruition.
New Bill Introduced
Senator Greg Albritton has introduced a measure that would give the Poarch Band of Creek Indians a monopoly in the state, eliminating all competition. The state would sign a compact with the tribe, bringing more revenues to the region in the process.
The bill would give the Poarch Creeks the opportunity to bring Las Vegas style casinos to Alabama with games such as blackjack, roulette and slots included. The tribe would also be given exclusive rights to sports betting along with video betting lottery terminals.
Going a step further, the bill would ban bingo machines except those offered at facilities operated by the tribe. New, higher tax rates would be put in place along with licensing fees for dog tracks that are offered in the state.
Albritton is not apologetic for introducing the bill at a time when a gambling study is occurring. He only wishes to represent the interest of the Poarch Creeks and see their plan come to fruition.
For several months now, the tribe has filled the airwaves on television and radio with ads regarding their gaming plan. They have also used other platforms like social media to provide residents with an inside look as to what they want to bring the state.
A constitutional amendment has been proposed for the state, that would allow casino-style games to be operated only by the tribe via a compact. The compact would be good for 25 years with two new sites opened up, one in Marshall, Jackson or DeKalb County as well as one in Jefferson County.
The bill will be put before the Senate Tourism Committee which is chaired by Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh. Whether or not the bill will move forward is anyone’s guess. Alabama has long been a conservative state and consideration has been given in the past to see a gambling expansion take place including the lottery.
So far, any attempt has been short-lived. However, as more neighboring states begin to open up their gambling industries, including nearby Georgia and Tennessee, Alabama might see a miracle and finally gain ground when it comes to gambling legislation. All eyes will be on the new bill and how well it is received within the Committee and if it has the legs to move forward.