Alabama lawmakers head toward lottery vote

MGN Online

The ball is rolling for Alabama to potentially get a lottery.

Posted: Apr 19, 2019 2:31 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Lawmakers are headed to a vote on lottery legislation next week, as supporters aim to change Alabama's status as one of the few states without the games.

The Senate Tourism and Marketing Committee is scheduled to vote Tuesday on one of two rival lottery proposals introduced this session. Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh said his hope is to get a bill before the full Senate on Thursday. If a bill is approved by both chambers, the proposal would go before Alabama voters.

"I honestly think we are going to pass a bill," Marsh told The Associated Press when asked to gauge the outlook for the legislation. "I really believe the people of the state want a chance to vote on it."

The Senate committee, which Marsh chairs, is scheduled to consider a bill by Republican Sen. Greg Albritton of Atmore that would limit a lottery to paper tickets. A rival bill by Republican Sen. Jim McClendon, which would also allow electronic games at state dog tracks, was not listed on the committee agenda.

Albritton said he wants to limit games to a "paper lottery" because he said that is what most people envision when they think of a lottery instead of the video terminal. He said he was cautiously optimistic, but said the bill was not a "slam dunk."

"Now that Mississippi and everyone else around us has a lottery, it's difficult for us to face our constituents and say, "No we are not going to let you have a lottery," Albritton said.

McClendon said he was disappointed that his bill was not scheduled for a vote.

"My bill, number one, makes more money — a lot more money — and it creates a lot more jobs for the state of Alabama," he said.

The lottery debate will reignite longstanding disputes over who can operate electronic gambling machines in the state and concerns about the consequences for existing gambling operations if state gambling law is changed.

Some lawmakers have sought to ensure that state dog tracks can have video lottery terminals. In recent years, the state has seized electronic bingo machines at the tracks, arguing the slot machine lookalikes are not what was intended by state laws authorizing bingo. The Poarch Band of Creek Indians offer nearly identical games at three casinos in the state but the tribe does not fall under state jurisdiction.

If approved by the Senate, the bill will then move to the Alabama House of Representatives.

House Speaker Mac McCutcheon said Friday that representatives are in a "wait and see mode" to see what comes out of the Senate.

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

State voters in 1999 rejected a lottery proposed by then-Gov. Don Siegelman.

Former Gov. Robert Bentley in 2016 unsuccessfully proposed a state lottery in response to a state budget crisis.

The Alabama Senate approved a lottery bill that year, but the support fell apart after the House of Representatives added language limiting the games to paper tickets so that video lottery terminals would not be allowed.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 93087

Reported Deaths: 2809
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds6956155
DeSoto539355
Harrison372772
Jackson337867
Madison320086
Rankin318875
Lee258567
Jones239978
Forrest238270
Washington217471
Lafayette207239
Lauderdale1994124
Bolivar179065
Oktibbeha174750
Lamar162134
Neshoba1534103
Panola144027
Sunflower141144
Lowndes139857
Warren138050
Leflore136280
Pontotoc122516
Pike120948
Monroe118365
Scott116125
Copiah115933
Coahoma112327
Holmes109158
Marshall107515
Lincoln106253
Grenada105335
Yazoo103629
Simpson101243
Union97824
Tate95137
Leake93937
Adams91736
Wayne87421
Pearl River86250
Marion84133
Prentiss80817
Covington80622
Alcorn76811
Newton75623
Itawamba75221
Tallahatchie74918
George74413
Winston72319
Tishomingo65737
Chickasaw65224
Tippah64216
Attala64125
Walthall59325
Clay57117
Hancock56121
Jasper54915
Noxubee54315
Clarke53539
Smith52114
Calhoun50612
Tunica47913
Montgomery45420
Claiborne45116
Lawrence42512
Yalobusha41614
Perry40617
Humphreys37315
Quitman3735
Stone35011
Greene34317
Webster33113
Jefferson Davis32511
Amite31210
Carroll31212
Wilkinson30217
Kemper28615
Sharkey26312
Jefferson2399
Benton2181
Franklin1893
Choctaw1785
Issaquena1033
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 128818

Reported Deaths: 2284
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson18911337
Mobile13039289
Montgomery8628173
Madison750775
Tuscaloosa7180114
Lee570559
Shelby564550
Baldwin504749
Marshall382143
Etowah333447
Calhoun332039
Morgan318126
Houston269922
Elmore251947
DeKalb234619
St. Clair221335
Walker220780
Talladega205026
Limestone197319
Cullman183017
Franklin174128
Dallas173626
Russell17112
Autauga167324
Lauderdale164133
Colbert159326
Escambia155725
Blount154214
Jackson149411
Chilton147127
Dale132743
Covington130227
Coffee12708
Pike11519
Tallapoosa113183
Chambers112342
Clarke104917
Marion93728
Butler90838
Barbour8307
Marengo69919
Winston69912
Lowndes64527
Pickens63114
Bibb62810
Hale61228
Randolph60712
Bullock58514
Lawrence58220
Monroe5758
Geneva5634
Cherokee55516
Washington54413
Perry5376
Clay5367
Wilcox53011
Conecuh52311
Crenshaw52231
Macon47620
Henry4674
Fayette4189
Sumter41819
Lamar3452
Choctaw34412
Cleburne3206
Greene30015
Coosa1613
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