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Alabama Senate to debate lottery

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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: 481397

Reported Deaths: 9395
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison32996486
Hinds30973586
DeSoto30491353
Jackson23650348
Rankin21267368
Lee14867220
Madison14145271
Jones13365226
Forrest13125238
Lauderdale11538305
Lowndes10418176
Lamar10184130
Pearl River9055219
Lafayette8218137
Hancock7501112
Washington7033150
Oktibbeha6937124
Monroe6491161
Neshoba6463201
Warren6439163
Pontotoc626593
Panola6219126
Bolivar6105144
Marshall6102121
Union573086
Pike5590136
Alcorn536090
Lincoln5297131
George470072
Scott456096
Leflore4468140
Prentiss445277
Tippah443680
Itawamba4430100
Adams4403116
Tate4351101
Simpson4324112
Wayne431566
Copiah431087
Yazoo423086
Covington414792
Sunflower4137104
Marion4087104
Leake397186
Coahoma394298
Newton368775
Grenada3553104
Stone350659
Tishomingo334689
Attala324886
Jasper313762
Winston303591
Clay295273
Chickasaw286665
Clarke280290
Calhoun265140
Holmes261887
Smith249549
Yalobusha220547
Tallahatchie218850
Walthall210558
Greene207845
Lawrence206033
Perry199353
Amite198152
Webster195942
Noxubee178239
Montgomery172054
Jefferson Davis167642
Carroll161937
Tunica152734
Benton142035
Kemper138440
Claiborne126634
Choctaw126326
Humphreys126337
Franklin116628
Quitman103626
Wilkinson101536
Jefferson88833
Sharkey62820
Issaquena1926
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 781915

Reported Deaths: 13798
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1109621748
Mobile706071213
Madison49359617
Baldwin36054485
Shelby35933311
Tuscaloosa33540540
Montgomery32996673
Lee22337218
Calhoun20935400
Morgan19666329
Etowah18890454
Marshall17575274
Houston16598377
St. Clair15287298
Limestone14442184
Cullman14441252
Elmore14299259
Lauderdale13395278
Talladega12781234
DeKalb12102233
Walker10495328
Autauga9611135
Blount9595154
Jackson9293152
Coffee8764174
Dale8485171
Colbert8448180
Tallapoosa6557177
Escambia6541117
Covington6409165
Chilton6314142
Russell600655
Franklin5744101
Chambers5350133
Marion4748116
Dallas4672185
Clarke459177
Pike458895
Geneva4333116
Winston420292
Lawrence4099108
Bibb405680
Barbour342969
Marengo324783
Monroe316652
Butler316088
Randolph302855
Pickens300673
Henry299657
Hale290483
Cherokee286752
Fayette276473
Washington245048
Crenshaw236768
Clay226264
Cleburne225750
Macon218057
Lamar192541
Conecuh180146
Lowndes170758
Coosa167533
Wilcox159636
Bullock148642
Perry136336
Sumter124136
Greene120542
Choctaw73326
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