Casino expansion legislation in the works for Alabama

In the southern American state of Alabama and voters could soon be going to the polls to decide on whether to authorize a lottery and allow for the licensing of up to seven more casinos.

According to a report from the Associated Press news service published by CDC Gaming Reports, Del Marsh (pictured) is a member of the Alabama State Senate and he has put forward a measure that would allow residents of ‘The Yellowhammer State’ to approve a constitutional amendment so as to allow for the launch of a state-run lottery. The legislation from the 64-year-old Republican would purportedly moreover give voters the chance to decide on whether they would like their state to eventually feature as many as ten casinos.

Current condition:

Alabama is already home to the Wind Creek Casino and Hotel Wetumpka, Wind Creek Casino and Hotel Atmore and Wind Creek Casino and Hotel Montgomery venues from the federally-recognized Poarch Band of Creek Indians but is conversely also one of only five states alongside Utah, Hawaii, Nevada and Alaska not to have a statewide lottery. Marsh’s legislation would reportedly seek to change this situation by asking voters to authorize a lottery and allow for the licensing of between five and seven commercial casinos.

Coming consideration:

Although many of the particulars contained within the proposed legislation are still being worked out, the news service reportedly explained that the 35-member Alabama State Senate could begin deliberations as soon as Tuesday afternoon. Marsh purportedly pronounced that the current language within his measure would seek voter approval to establish a lottery and bring casino gambling to four existing dog tracks while allowing the Poarch Band of Creek Indians to open a similar facility in the north of the state.

Supplementary suggestions:

The news service reportedly detailed that the legislation from the redoubtable six-term state senator is additionally due to feature a plea for Governor Kay Ivey to negotiate a gaming compact with the Poarch Band Creek Indians regarding a trio of the tribe’s electronic bingo halls. It explained that all of this could be complemented by a further request that may see casinos authorized for sites in Houston County, which sits along Alabama’s southern border with Florida, and the more sparsely populated Lowndes County.

Expected enmity:

Marsh reportedly told the Associated Press that he currently has the 21 votes needed to get his measure through the Alabama State Senate regardless of whether such legislation would seek permission for five or seven new casinos. However, the news service purportedly asserted that the situation would likely be different in the 105-seat Alabama House of Representatives where measures to expand casino gambling have long drawn fierce opposition.

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