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: 270476

Reported Deaths: 5945
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto18020198
Hinds17192342
Harrison14654214
Rankin11404225
Jackson11146194
Lee9160149
Madison8736173
Jones6934120
Forrest6324126
Lauderdale6212198
Lowndes5623124
Lafayette5295102
Lamar515565
Washington4984125
Bolivar4187111
Oktibbeha413686
Panola390784
Pontotoc383461
Warren3766103
Monroe3746112
Marshall362273
Union361966
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Neshoba3528160
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Lincoln311489
Hancock304263
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Tate282964
Alcorn276257
Pike275985
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Scott268055
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Prentiss257255
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Tippah252652
Simpson246072
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Marion230774
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Grenada225874
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George211041
Winston208971
Newton202748
Attala198265
Tishomingo197861
Chickasaw191546
Jasper185839
Holmes173268
Clay169538
Tallahatchie158835
Stone154727
Clarke151062
Calhoun143122
Smith134226
Yalobusha125435
Walthall116638
Greene115930
Noxubee114726
Montgomery113136
Lawrence109317
Carroll107722
Perry106431
Amite103829
Webster99024
Claiborne90426
Jefferson Davis90231
Tunica89722
Benton87423
Humphreys86225
Kemper81820
Quitman71611
Franklin71517
Choctaw64914
Wilkinson60325
Jefferson57521
Sharkey45917
Issaquena1616
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 449086

Reported Deaths: 7172
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson656061094
Mobile32260595
Madison28795237
Tuscaloosa21859277
Montgomery20388348
Shelby19707139
Baldwin17629217
Lee13482112
Morgan12795154
Etowah12265213
Calhoun11730228
Marshall10543133
Houston9221182
Limestone849485
Cullman8412143
Elmore8379123
Lauderdale8049121
DeKalb7985122
St. Clair7985144
Talladega6637114
Jackson611557
Walker6078185
Colbert5650104
Blount556895
Autauga549967
Coffee473471
Dale418692
Franklin380153
Russell364216
Chilton351379
Covington347986
Escambia343446
Tallapoosa3228111
Dallas3164105
Chambers313775
Clarke311139
Pike269435
Lawrence259759
Marion256667
Winston236443
Bibb226151
Geneva217151
Marengo213332
Pickens203031
Barbour189840
Hale189748
Fayette183534
Butler176660
Cherokee167333
Henry162229
Monroe154221
Randolph149536
Washington144727
Clay131650
Crenshaw127048
Macon124638
Cleburne124128
Lamar122024
Lowndes118637
Wilcox110022
Bullock107429
Perry100819
Conecuh99123
Sumter91228
Greene78624
Coosa66119
Choctaw52424
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