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Alabama Senate to debate lottery

MGN Online

A proposal to start a state lottery a headed to a key Thursday vote in the Alabama Senate as supporters try to break Alabama's status as one of five states without the games.

Posted: Apr 25, 2019 1:40 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A proposal to start a state lottery a headed to a key Thursday vote in the Alabama Senate as supporters try to break Alabama's status as one of five states without the games.

Senators were expected to debate a bill by Republican Sen. Greg Albritton of Atmore that would limit a lottery to paper tickets, including instant tickets and multi-state lottery games and would not allow video lottery terminals which can resemble slot machines.

"I think I'm optimistic, but it is certainly not in the bag," Albritton said. "We are going to put it on the floor and I know there is going to be a heated open debate on it. There is going to be a few votes taken. We'll know when we get there."

Albritton on Thursday morning said he was uncertain if he can muster the 21 votes needed to pass the constitutional amendment in the 35-member Senate or stop a filibuster from opponents.

The legislation faces a difficult to navigate gauntlet of conservative opposition to gambling and longstanding rivalries between state dog tracks and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians over who can operate electronic gambling machines in the state.

However, Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh said he was optimistic about the bill's chances.

"My goal today is to move a lottery bill out to the House," Marsh said.

If approved by the House and Senate, the proposal would go before voters on March 3, 2020.

Alabama is one of five states — along with Utah, Alaska, Hawaii, and Nevada — without a state lottery.

One focus of the debate will be on whether electronic gambling should be allowed.

Senators who support the state dog tracks said they want to either allow video lottery terminals at the track or at least ensure that the tracks' current electronic bingo operations can continue.

A state committee added an amendment over Albritton's objections to exclude electronic bingo and pari-mutuel betting from the definition of video lottery terminal.

Sen. Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro, said his aim is to protect the tracks' current electronic bingo operations.

Singleton said he is trying to maintain the "status quo" at the tracks and make sure a "paper" lottery law couldn't be used to shut down the tracks current electronic bingo operations. Albritton said he will try to strip the amendment because he is concerned it could lead to widespread electronic gambling.

The Legislative Service Agency, which estimates how much revenue bills will generate, predicted a paper lottery would produce $166.7 million annually.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 256827

Reported Deaths: 5638
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17257180
Hinds16331322
Harrison13567194
Rankin10804212
Jackson10453184
Lee8864141
Madison8314164
Jones6434112
Forrest6009120
Lauderdale5902186
Lowndes5405116
Lafayette499193
Lamar488565
Washington4803124
Bolivar3997109
Oktibbeha395381
Panola372379
Pontotoc367853
Monroe3558105
Warren354898
Union345960
Marshall344066
Neshoba3396152
Pearl River3301100
Leflore3041107
Lincoln298085
Sunflower286671
Hancock274459
Tate273162
Alcorn265453
Itawamba263759
Pike263778
Scott248046
Yazoo247056
Prentiss246552
Tippah243050
Copiah242749
Coahoma241054
Simpson236467
Leake231765
Grenada219471
Covington214672
Marion213073
Adams207070
Wayne202932
Winston201666
George199839
Attala194259
Newton193444
Tishomingo189361
Chickasaw185044
Jasper172736
Holmes168767
Clay159833
Stone144721
Tallahatchie141934
Clarke139862
Calhoun136521
Smith121424
Yalobusha117834
Walthall112336
Noxubee110822
Greene110429
Montgomery109834
Carroll104821
Lawrence102917
Perry102631
Amite98426
Webster92824
Tunica87321
Claiborne86625
Jefferson Davis85326
Humphreys83124
Benton82023
Kemper77620
Quitman6968
Franklin66715
Choctaw60913
Wilkinson58725
Jefferson54919
Sharkey43117
Issaquena1596
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 426543

Reported Deaths: 6126
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson62752920
Mobile30551554
Madison27303186
Tuscaloosa20835267
Montgomery19192305
Shelby18693114
Baldwin16513183
Lee12603101
Morgan12321113
Etowah11805168
Calhoun11206200
Marshall10236107
Houston8681148
Cullman8094105
Limestone807474
Elmore7923101
DeKalb771597
Lauderdale763183
St. Clair7599120
Talladega6224108
Walker5930174
Jackson583741
Colbert535473
Blount532083
Autauga522755
Coffee446256
Dale399781
Franklin368148
Chilton337865
Russell335910
Covington330168
Escambia321342
Dallas305196
Chambers288669
Clarke283133
Tallapoosa2630107
Pike251329
Marion247350
Lawrence245247
Winston229035
Bibb217047
Geneva203335
Marengo200829
Pickens196931
Hale177442
Barbour173836
Fayette171226
Butler170758
Cherokee160930
Henry155021
Monroe147317
Randolph141535
Washington138326
Clay127045
Crenshaw120244
Cleburne118423
Lamar118419
Macon116835
Lowndes111535
Wilcox103621
Bullock99728
Perry98219
Conecuh95120
Sumter89526
Greene76223
Coosa60515
Choctaw51524
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