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Alabama Gambling Bills passed by the House

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Alabama lawmakers have passed a bill that will allow sports betting in the state.

On Thursday, the Alabama House passed two bills that would expand commercial gambling throughout the state.

The state upper house must pass the bills HB151 and HB152 sponsored by Chris Blackshear. As a constitutional change, the first bill would also need to be confirmed by the general public. It will appear on the November ballot.

In a Thursday statement, Governor Kay Ivey said that she supports both bills in their “current form”.

Ivey stated that the proposal will “clean up” and crackdown on illegal gambling. It will also give Alabamians an opportunity to voice their opinion on limited, regulated forms of gaming.

The gambling bill includes

HB151 and HB152 were passed by the House on Thursday with a vote of 70-32. On Wednesday, the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee passed both bills by voice vote.

The HB151 bill would allow for online and retail sports betting as well as a lottery in the state. It also legalises casinos and bingo games where they are available. The bill would allow the state to enter into a gaming agreement with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians that operates three casinos within the state.

The bill HB152 establishes the State Lottery and Gaming Commission to oversee these gambling sectors in the state. The bill would establish an Alabama Gaming Commission, which would be responsible for licensing casinos as well as having a division of law enforcement. The Alabama Gaming Commission can license six casinos. Poarch Band will own the seventh.

Blackshear told reporters that the bill had been passed. “Finally we have heard what you want loudly from polls, and now we are giving citizens the power to choose for themselves the gaming laws they prefer in their state,” he said.

Legislative Services Agency estimates that the state can receive up to $900m in revenue from sports betting, casino gambling and lottery games. This includes revenues that would be generated from a deal with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

Blackshear told a recent public hearing that the expansion of gambling in California could generate up to $1.21bn for the state. The fiscal note for HB152 states that casinos could bring in between $315m and $492.2m, while sports betting can generate up to $42.5m. Lottery could raise between $305.6m and $379.4m. Blackshear stated that another $300m could come from an agreement with the Poarch Band.

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