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: 15229

Reported Deaths: 723
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds99925
Lauderdale73561
Madison72023
Scott65012
Neshoba63038
Jones59825
Forrest55338
DeSoto5337
Rankin4217
Leake42112
Holmes39728
Copiah3104
Jackson30513
Attala29216
Yazoo2734
Newton2714
Leflore25831
Harrison2577
Lincoln25628
Monroe25525
Lamar2355
Oktibbeha23512
Lowndes2119
Pearl River20931
Pike20211
Adams19615
Noxubee1856
Wayne1771
Warren1719
Washington1687
Covington1652
Bolivar16011
Jasper1574
Smith15011
Lee1496
Kemper14411
Clarke14318
Chickasaw13312
Lafayette1314
Coahoma1214
Carroll11711
Marion1159
Clay1124
Winston1121
Claiborne1112
Lawrence1021
Simpson1010
Yalobusha905
Hancock9011
Tate891
Grenada893
Wilkinson889
Itawamba877
Union835
Marshall833
Montgomery831
Sunflower813
Jefferson Davis772
Tippah7311
Panola703
Webster691
Calhoun644
Humphreys607
Amite601
Walthall550
Tunica543
Prentiss523
Perry503
Choctaw432
Jefferson421
Tishomingo320
Pontotoc323
Stone300
Franklin282
Tallahatchie271
Quitman260
George251
Alcorn171
Benton150
Greene121
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 17359

Reported Deaths: 618
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2191115
Jefferson1780102
Montgomery163238
Tuscaloosa73814
Marshall6879
Franklin5457
Lee54033
Shelby50319
Tallapoosa42364
Butler40217
Chambers35325
Walker3442
Elmore3398
Madison3274
Baldwin2839
Dallas2603
Morgan2511
Etowah24811
DeKalb2433
Lowndes23812
Coffee2291
Sumter2206
Autauga2164
Houston2094
Bullock2034
Pike1980
Colbert1782
Russell1670
Marengo1636
Lauderdale1612
Hale1598
Calhoun1543
Choctaw1518
Barbour1501
Wilcox1447
Clarke1422
Cullman1260
Randolph1257
Marion12111
St. Clair1181
Pickens1114
Dale1100
Talladega1093
Chilton1001
Limestone940
Greene944
Winston880
Covington771
Jackson772
Crenshaw763
Macon754
Henry742
Bibb721
Washington686
Blount611
Escambia573
Lawrence480
Geneva400
Conecuh391
Coosa381
Monroe372
Perry370
Cherokee373
Clay272
Lamar230
Fayette150
Cleburne141
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 64°
Columbus
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 64°
Oxford
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 59°
Starkville
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 59°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather