Will Alabama Ever Have a Gambling Package?

Mike Cason

A conference committee of three state senators and three representatives is holding its first public meeting Tuesday to try to reach a compromise on the large differences in plans for a lottery and other state-regulated gambling passed by the Alabama House and the Senate.

The committee meeting starts at 3 p.m. in room 617 of the Alabama State House.

If the committee approves a compromise, it would go to the full House and full Senate, where it would take three-fifths of senators and three-fifths of representatives to pass and send to the ballot for voters, who have the final say on any bills for a lottery or other expansion of legal gambling.

The House passed this year’s gambling package first, on Feb. 15. It included a lottery, 10 casinos, including four that would be operated by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, and legal sports betting.
Three weeks later, the Senate approved a scaled-back plan that included a lottery but no sports betting, three casinos operated by the Poarch Creeks. Instead of the other full-scale casinos, the Senate plan would allow pari-mutuel gambling on simulcast races and computerized historical horse racing machines at the state’s four former greyhound tracks and three other locations.
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